Heart Fitness

HeartStopwatch2I recently read that if I can’t walk continuously for six minutes at a comfortable pace, my heart fitness needs attention. That took me aback a bit. Some days, six minutes of walking seems brief. Other days, it seems an eternity, especially when I don’t feel hale and hearty, or I don’t want to walk and it’s raining, storming, snowing, windy, hot, cold … I enjoy blaming the weather those days.

The walking “test” apparently indicates my muscle and joint health. Likely the moving part indicates joint function, and the six minute timing part reveals heart function. Continue reading

Heart Expressions

CandyHeartsFor months now, I have been more aware of things around me related to heart. That includes heart pictures, art, and candy hearts, and thinking about the cardiac pump that keeps me going, too.

I am also more responsive when people say things about the heart. The words touch my ears more than ever before. One recent statement I heard was “The heart of the matter is . . .” That reminded me that the concept of heart as center permeates today’s thinking. We say “heart” to describe things near and dear—happiness, love, safety. The person was talking about something truly important to him. Continue reading

My Moods and My Heart

HappyAndSadHeartsI have been wondering what laughter and sadness—up and down moods—can do to my heart. My emotions surely affect my heart in ways that are good, or maybe not so good. I’ve always assumed that positive moods help my heart and negative moods hurt it. But, I decided to look online for enlightenment about moods and heart health.

One surprise was finding Laughter Online University. I love the site name! It explains that laughing helps blood vessel function by stretching the vessels with increased blood flow—keeping the circulation flexible and increasing oxygen in the blood. After reading that, I plan to see more funny movies and read more comical writing. Continue reading