Heart of the Community

“HEART,” which has so many meanings, is truly the most essential piece of our lives. It is crucial that we live every meaning of it in the healthiest way possible.

The most well known definition of heart is that which describes the organ that circulates blood inside our bodies. Follow these five steps to keep this heart healthy:

  1. Eat more plants and fish (and don’t ignore color); stock up on these foods that are rich in heart-healthy antioxidants to decrease your risk of heart disease!
  2. Cut the fat: A diet low in fat makes for a great shield against heart disease; no more than 7% of your diet should be fat.
  3. Know the risk: Understanding what factors put you at risk can greatly help you to avoid heart disease. Have your doctor check annually for high cholesterol, elevated blood sugar and signs of diabetes.
  4. Move your feet: Any type of exercise is better than none! You do not have to do an intense workout to get the benefits. Walking 30 minutes each day can greatly help to strengthen your heart.
  5. If you are a smoker, STOP! Smokers are 2-4 times more likely to develop heart disease.

Of course, there’s another definition for heart: the center of the total personality, in reference to feeling or emotion.

Most have heard the saying “listen to your heart,” but what does that truly mean?  There is little factual evidence of why listening to one’s heart is better than listening to one’s head, but over and over it prevails as the better option. Our hearts tell us what we want to do and people who do what they want are happier, overall, in life. Happier people are usually healthier people. So, listen to your heart!

Heart also means: the capacity for sympathy, feeling or affection—whether derived from spirituality, morality or empathy. Helping someone else, for any reason other than greed or selfishness is a good representation of heart. There are so many ways to help others. At Midnight Sun Home Care we show this part of our heart by participating in various community events throughout the year—whether the Alaska Run for Women, the Alaska Heart Run, the Alaska Run/Walk for Arthritis or many others.

I encourage each of you to reach out to another person or organization for your heart health and well-being! Perhaps you’d like to participate in the Alaska Heart Run? It is a fantastic organization that helps fund research and community programs to fight cardiovascular disease and stroke. Please visit the AHA registration page to sign up and participate with us this year.

We can’t forget that heart also means: the innermost or central part of something. Taking care of that place—whether it is part of you, your home or a place out in the world—is so important for always having something to come back to, to ground yourself.  This is essential to your overall well-being.

Our health is not limited to our physical well-being but is also included in our mental and emotional well-being. Knowing how to love your heart, in its entirety, is crucial to living a good, quality life.

I am going to start making my heart (and life) better today! I will try to feed each aspect of my heart, so that I may continue to grow and thrive. Will you join me?

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