Your heart is responsible for transporting oxygen and nutrients to all of the organs in the body. Proper oxygenation and delivery of nutrients results in an energized body so protecting the heart is very important.
One out of the three ways to protect your heart you might know intuitively but the other two might you may not.
All three ways to protect your heart each involve a different aspect of one’s self. One deals with what you put into your body. One deals what you do with you body. One deals with how you interact with the world.
All three separately help strengthen aspects of one’s heart and all three together work in a synergistic way to greatly energize the heart, which benefits the body, and mind.
1. Lower Your LDL Cholesterol To Protect Your Heart
This may be the most obvious way of the three ways to protect your heart. Lowering your LDL or bad cholesterol helps to reduce the risk of developing plaque on the arteries which leads to heart disease. When there is too much LDL cholesterol in the body it damages the cells of the lining of artery walls.
This allows LDL cholesterol to latch on the the walls and build up. The body sees this as an attack and sends white blood cells and macrophages to remove the LDL cholesterol. They latch on each other and form a plaque on artery walls.
This results in atherosclerosis which is the hardening and narrowing of artery walls that restricts blood flow and oxygen and nutrient delivery. This causes fatigue and heart disease. The buildup happens over time, so many us of may not realize we have an issue.
Many men who suffer from erectile dysfunction need to be weary of heart disease. Erectile dysfunction and coronary artery (heart) disease are two manifestations of the same disease, atherosclerosis.
Plaque builds up uniformly in the affected arteries in the body. Since the arteries in the penis are smaller than those in the heart, plaque will build up faster in the penis.
Erectile dysfunction caused by the hardening of the arteries is an indicator that plaque is also building in the arteries of the heart which leads to heart disease.
Lower your LDL cholesterol by eating fiber rich foods like beans, vegetables, and fruits which help to soak up LDL cholesterol and remove it from the digestive tract. Eating a plant-based diet is a good way to reduce cholesterol and support healthy living because a plant foods don’t contain cholesterol.
Remove or reduce eating processed meats like hot-dogs and hamburgers that are high in cholesterol and saturated fat. Reduce the amount of cooking oil used because it adds and unnatural amount of fat to the diet. Coconut oil is an exception because studies show that it raises HDL cholesterol which removes LDL cholesterol from the body.
Add antioxidant omega-3 rich foods to the diet like flax seeds or chia seeds, and nuts like almonds which combat LDL cholesterol buildup.
2. Strengthen Your Stomach Muscles To Protect Your Heart
Stress is thought to trigger heart ailments by causing the body to release stress hormones that weaken heart muscles. Stress triggers a “fight or flight” response that increases heart rate and blood pressure.
To support the “fight or flight” response blood is directed away from the midsection and is directed to the limbs and brain to support mobility and quick thinking.
A constantly stressful environment can trigger reduced blood flow to the stomach and digestive system resulting in reduced metabolism, reduced gut flora, reduced enzyme output in the stomach, decreased nutrient absorption, elevated cholesterol, and heartburn.
Having a strong abdominal or core can help control stress. A great part of stress is caused by our perception or reaction to something. Everyone reacts differently to the same situation. One person may get stressed in a situation while another will not get stressed in the same situation.
When you work to develop your core you are also working on controlling your breathing. Controlling your breathing is key to controlling stress. Taking deep and long breaths help to calm the mind, stomach, and heart. It promotes calmness.
You can do sit-ups, crunches, yoga, pilates, ride a bicycle, or do calisthenic exercises to strengthen your core and to control your breathing.
3. Live In The Now To Protect Your Heart
Living in the now to protect your heart goes hand in hand with strengthening the core. They both work on controlling stress.
I think living in the now may be the hardest thing to do out of the three ways to protect your heart.
When we think too much on things in the past we wish didn’t happened or could have or should have happened differently we keep ourselves involved with those negative ideas and emotions. The reality is we can do nothing about one second ago.
The past is gone and is an illusion. All we can do something about is right now. We must focus on right now to achieve what we want. Another thing we need to do is to learn to accept failure. We all fail and will continue to fail because no one is perfect. It is part of learning and part of life.
The key is to learn and get better and see life as a journey of learning and hopefully understanding.
To ground yourself in the now you focus and meditate on what you want to be. I don’t mean wanting to be some made-up thing like a doctor or movie star. I mean what you want to be.
Being a doctor or a movie star are manufactured ways to achieving what you want to be.
Being is how your are in this moment: happy, sad, upset, uneasy, or compassionate. These are states of being. If you practice being still and quiet and meditate on these states of being, over time your consciousness wraps around them and they envelop you.
Spend time focusing on how you feel, how your body reacts, how your mind reacts, how your breath reacts when you are connected to compassion, joy, and acceptance. Focus on keeping those feelings and reactions in your consciousness.
You have to make conscious efforts to do this daily which will lead to the understanding that things or events don’t give you these states of being. Only you give yourself these states of being which soothe and relax the heart and mind. This path leads to being in the now and supports a healthy functioning heart.