How To Have a Healthy Heart
I suspect you don’t need the statistics. I could relay scary numbers about heart disease and its rampage on western society but let’s face it; you already know it’s a problem. I know MY eyes glaze over when I start reading percentages and too much clinical information. I prefer the bottom line-the practical information I can put into action right away. But you are a resourceful LGBT go-getter… you have your iPhone apps and other means of unlimited access to a world of information that will tell you what to eat and what to do to keep your heart pumping strong. So I’d like to start with the question of WHY. Why be healthy? We go through life talking about all the things we need to do; “I need to exercise, I need to lose weight, I need to eat more vegetables.”
But why? Besides the obvious reason of wanting to live longer, think about those you love, with whom you want to share the joys of life. Your family, a beloved partner, and the children you have or may one day adopt… What would having a strong and vital heart allow you to do in life? Ten, twenty, even thirty years from now, how will the quality of your life be affected if instead of being on blood thinners and paying hospital bills you are participating in a triathlon, sailing around the world, or proudly witnessing your child graduate from college?
Many of you hot, young queer folk out there probably feel like this subject isn’t relevant for you. Perhaps you are more focused on preventing STDs then on something you feel won’t strike till you are older. You have no symptoms and your lifestyle choices haven’t yet started showing up in the numbers during your checkups. Maybe you don’t even get checkups! Perhaps your cholesterol is only borderline high so you will deal with it later when it’s “an issue.” I would like to challenge you to start now. Sometimes it can be scary to see with honesty, but being educated and having a plan for self-care and disease prevention will add quality years to your life that will be worth the unveiling of denial. Where can you start?
- Be willing. Take a close look at the current risk factors in your life that include not only your lifestyle but also your family history. This may include a checkup and some basic blood work so you have a baseline of information.
- Be informed. At the end of this article you will find a few links to get you started in learning more about risk factors and creating heart health. Search for the support you need depending on your unique needs.
- Be proactive. Once you are armed with the facts, decide what areas in your life need adjustments. Is it nutrition, physical activity, stress, smoking or other recreational habits?
- Be holistic. What other areas in your life if nurtured would contribute to a satisfying, healthy existence? Explore meditation, hobbies, healthier relationships, spirituality, and personal values that support joyful, meaningful living.
- Be connected. Ask your heart what it needs on a regular basis. Take a moment to breathe deeply, ask earnestly, and listen intently. The body is infinitely intelligent and will respond often with answers that your mind could not fathom. You may receive information like, “I need an apple, a hug, a run, a shot of wheatgrass, or I need to forgive.”
This miraculous heart of yours has more love to give, more life to live, more wisdom to share. It’s committed. Are you?
For a heart health assessment and action plan support, visit:
For heart health resources for women, visit:
Heart Vitamin Review Site:
Fried is dedicated to empowering you to live a radiant life as a strong
and successful LGBT individual. Her wellness programs are a powerful,
transformational experience of discovering your authentic self
in order to express optimal health and well-being. Kendra is a
board-certified holistic health and nutrition counselor,
hypnotherapist, Reiki Master Teacher, massage therapist, and yoga
instructor. She brings the utmost enthusiasm along with 14 years of
experience to create a new resource for Planet Out readers.
To learn more about her work, visit Kendra's website, www.montereyintegrativehealth.com, for
additional information on wellness programs, Yoga BOOTCAMP, monthly and
archived newsletters, or to listen to guided meditations and yoga
podcasts. Sessions are provided in person and nationwide by phone or
Click here to read more healthful, enlightening tips-- Just for you from Kendra.
Click here to follow @Planet_Out on Twitter
Top image courtesy of Getty