Imagine you are sitting here at Copiah County Medical Center and the doctor comes into the examination room. “How’s your heart?” the doctor asks.
Did you know that according to the Mississippi Department of Health*, heart disease is the #1 cause of death in our county!
Well, here at Copiah County Medical Center, we care about prevention as much as we care about a cure, so we’ve developed a short list of three easy things that you can do to help your heart, not only this month but year in and year out.
Reduce Stress. It may sound like a no-brainer, but reducing your stress level reduces the amount of the stress hormone cortisol. According to the Mayo Clinic**, Cortisol is not a bad thing, but when it is constantly being “tripped” it can go haywire and our body suffers from anxiety, depression, heart disease and more. So reducing our stress helps more than just our hearts, so make a few choices this week that relieve those pressures. Simple things like reading a book, volunteering in our community, or practicing regular self care all contribute towards reducing stress in your life and benefit your heart.
Movement. Whether it’s walking, line dancing, or water aerobics, daily movement of 30 minutes greatly improves your heart’s health. Havard Medical School*** brings up the very good point of asking folks to consciously look at how little movement they may actually be doing in a day. Start there and add 10 minutes at a time several times a day. Your heart will thank you for the motion!
Laughter. Does your daily routine include laughter? Science shows us that laughter really does help our heart. Reader’s Digest**** has a list of over 1,000 clean, funny jokes that are broken into various categories. There’s movies, books, YouTube videos, in fact, there are all kinds of ways to get a daily dose of laughter. Our favorite; however, is chatting with a friend or a coworker or neighbor. Consider a “joke contest” and see which one of you can come up with the joke that makes you all laugh the hardest. It will put a smile on your face, and your heart.
So, let’s celebrate our hearts this February! We can each do all three of these simple practices to make our collective hearts beat stronger!