tired heart

Time for a Heart to Heart

Heart Disease generally refers to conditions that result in compromised heart muscles, valves, or rhythm. Any or all of these can lead to heart attack, chest pain (angina), or stroke.

Believe it or not, the World Health Organization (WHO), reported “Heart Disease is the #1 cause of death in the US, Canada, and Australia.” Some reports say the death toll is even greater than that of every type of cancer.

Now I know what you’re saying, how the heck does someone get Heart Disease? Well here are a few noted causes:

  • High amounts of fats and cholesterol in the blood
  • High amounts of sugar in the blood
  • High blood pressure
  • Blood vessel inflammation
  • Smoking
  • Family history of the illness

Over time, any of these can create toxic conditions for the heart, and lead to Heart Disease.

*This is with special exception to Congenital Heart Defects. In those unfortunate cases, someone is born with a defect that affects how the heart works.*

There is also research that suggests, “a sudden release of STRESS  hormones, may play a role in causing this disorder.”

This is the perfect Segway to the other thing I wanted to talk about, Stress.

Stress is a silent killer that takes a toll on every aspect of your well being. Namely, your mind, your spirit, your body and especially your heart, all fall victim to its undiscriminating wrath.

While we navigate the rigor of our constantly changing day, all while moving at the speed of life, we need to remember to take care of ourselves. Yeah, sure. “In the pursuit of happiness,” we all get caught up and tend to lose track of some traditional values. But ask yourself, at what cost.

My sister worked a full-time job, a part-time job, and went to school full time. She was quite driven and ambitious. She juggled all of this while simultaneously raising two beautiful young daughters. Successfully graduating with her RN license in 2010. 2 weeks later she suffered a massive heart attack at the age of 32, and died.

Her short-lived “Pomp and Circumstance became her Veteran waltz to “Taps.”The official autopsy report stated the cause of death as “Stress.”


Heart Attacks occur when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a section of the heart muscle suddenly becomes blocked and the heart can’t get oxygen. If blood flow isn’t restored quickly, that section of the heart muscle begins to die. Just imagine your heart being strangled. Well that’s kind of the idea.

heart squeezetired heart

Would you know if you or someone you know were actively having a heart attack? We often ignore physical discomforts, just assuming it will pass. If you knew you were having a heart attack, would you react so nonchalantly? Here are a few signs to look for just in case.

  • Chest Discomfort (Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain. )
  • Discomfort to other areas of the body (Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.)
  • Shortness of Breath (with or without chest discomfort.)
  • Other signs (can range in breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.)

The American Heart Association recommends that heart disease prevention begin early in life. Assess your risk factors and work to keep them low.

A healthy diet and active lifestyle are key. Now I know often when we see the words Active Lifestyle, there is an assumption that you have to be in the gym 5 days a week. That’s not necessarily the case. All things, including lifestyle changes should be done gradually and at first, in moderation.

Here are some of my simple tips. See if they work for you.

  • Try walking 10 minutes more each day than usual. Each week afterward add 5 more minutes. Before you know it, you’ll be in the swing of things.
  • Stop lying down less than 30 minutes after you eat. The food needs to move. If you are lying down, where is it going to go? It stays right there, where it shouldn’t be. A lot of illness result from that very behavior. (Look it up) Get up and walk around a bit. And don’t be afraid to stretch a bit. (It helps)
  • Drink lots of water. I mean there are just too many benefits to list. Some research says it can reduce your risk of Heart Attack by 50%.

water-man Water is life

  • Add more greens and beans to your diet. They help regulate your metabolism.
  • Just as a backup, it’s a good idea to carry chew-able Aspirin in your bag. If worst comes to worst, chew two and get to an emergency room immediately.

First time victims of heart attacks or strokes suffer fatal or disabling effects, so prevention is critical. The sooner you begin reducing your exposure to things that may damage your heart, the longer and stronger your heart will beat.

It doesn’t take much to just get started, but it will totally be worth it.

Your family, your friends, your body and especially your Heart will thank you.


Thanks for listening.

Now go get your life together.


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7 thoughts on “Time for a Heart to Heart”

  1. This was an exceptional piece. Absolutely made me want to make, some better choices. Heart disease is indeed, the number one killer in women period. Thanks for this.

  2. I truly enjoy this info,. Well thought out and put together I surly will keep this in mind while making better choices to combat heart disease and stress.

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