5 Ways to Have a Healthy Heart

by: Dr. T.G. Day, MD

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Have you ever thought about your heart’s health? Have you wondered if there was anything you could do to strengthen your heart and make it healthier? In this blog post, I will discuss things that you can do to help your heart to be healthier.

According to the CDC, 1 out of every 4 adults die of heart disease each year!  More than 650,000 people die of heart disease annually in America! It is the leading cause of death for men and women.  This is a very alarming statistic!

Now, there are certain risk factors that increase one’s chance of suffering from heart disease.  Let’s discuss these risk factors. The main risk factors for heart disease are:

  1.  Smoking
  2. Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
  3. Hypercholesterolemia (High Cholesterol)

Contributing factors for Heart Disease are:

  1. Overweight/obesity
  2. Diabetes
  3. Poor Diet
  4. Physical Inactivity
  5. Excessive Alcohol Use

Interestingly, when we look at the main causes and contributing factors of heart disease, in most cases, these things can be prevented or controlled based on lifestyle and nutrition. There are things that can be done to prevent or reverse the risk and contributing factors for heart disease.

Let’s start with lifestyle changes.  Since smoking and excessive alcohol use increase the risk of heart disease, by eliminating smoking, and not drinking alcohol excessively, your risk will thereby decrease.

Poor diet is a contributing factor for heart disease.  So what is considered to be a poor diet? According to the American Heart Association, a diet that has a lot of high calorie foods and beverages, as well as large portions of saturated and unsaturated fats, and sodium. Therefore, the American Heart Association recommends a heart healthy diet which includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy products, skinless poultry and fish, nuts and legumes, limited sugary foods and beverages, sodium and fat, and the leanest cuts of red meat.

Physical inactivity increases the risk of heart disease, so just by being physically active, you can lower your risk of developing heart disease.  The Exercise recommendations by the American Heart Association are, at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity). Thirty minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember. You will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10 to 15 minutes per day.

If you have been diagnosed with Hypertension, Hypercholesterolemia, Diabetes, or Overweight/Obesity, there are still things you can do to improve these conditions and thereby decrease your risk of heart disease.  Eating a Healthy Diet as discussed above, and exercising for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, eliminating smoking, and avoiding excessive use of alcohol will improve all of the above mentioned diagnoses. Also, avoiding prolonged states of emotional stress. Stress can also have negative affects on the heart by overworking it. Therefore, it is important to try to eliminate significant stress from your life.

Knowing the statistics of heart disease and death in American adults are so compelling that it is crucial to take a moment to self reflect and evaluate your physical state. If there are risk factors that you can eliminate by diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes, I encourage you to do so, because it will help you have a healthier heart and thereby decrease the alarming 1:4 death statistics from Heart disease.

If you would like additional information on nutrition and diet, or customized meal plans that lead to a healthy heart, please contact me. 

Author: Dr. T.G. Day, MD is the CEO and Founder of Flourish Health Coaching, LLC.  She is helping others achieve excellent health through wholistic health coaching.  If you are in pursuit of excellent health, and becoming the healthiest and fittest version of yourself, contact Dr. T.G. Day, MD for a free health coaching consultation.

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Never Thirsty

by: Dr. T.G. Day, MD  /   Inspiration

waterfall

“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” ~John 4:14~

Over the last month, I have written blogs to discuss the importance of water in our lives.  From the physical need of water, to the cleansing and healing properties of it.  In the above Biblical scripture, Jesus talks about giving water in which you will never thirst again.  This is the water that satisfies the spirit.

Have you ever felt stressed with trying to do it all? Have you felt that you were just trying to make it through the day, just to wake up the next day and repeat it all again? Have you ever felt that you were at a place in life in which you were stuck and didn’t know how to get out? Or maybe you’ve had feelings of being alone or depressed? Or maybe life threw some curve balls that you didn’t expect or plan for? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this is where this “well of water springing up into everlasting life” comes into play.

You see, this “well of water springing up into everlasting life” represents the Holy Spirit.  So during times of stress, despair, depression, or doubt, you can know that you are not alone, and there is a peace that you can receive which passes all understanding, and yes, it can keep your heart and mind.

In this life, it is not promised that it will be easy or without trials, but it is promised that we will never be alone, or forsaken, and can have peace in any storm.

Water is necessary for replenishing the physical and spiritual components of the human body.  So I encourage you to remember that there is a water that you can drink and never thirst again.  It is the water given by Jesus, which shall be “a well of water springing up into everlasting life”.

 

How can water improve your body?

Dr. T.G. Day, MD

beach

Water is a substance that is fascinating in many ways.  It can exist in three different states, solid, liquid, and gas.  It makes up 75% of the earth’s surface, and 50-75% of the human body.  With water being so key to human life, it is no wonder that it can do amazing things for the body.

As I discussed in a previous blog, water is necessary for human life, and it is required for the body to exist in a healthy state. In order to have optimal health, it is important to drink the best quality water needed daily.  But water also can be of great benefit for the body in other ways.

Water can lead to a state of relaxation, peace and tranquility.  Have you ever sat on a beach and listened to the sound of an ocean? Or sat by a brook and watched the water flowing? Perhaps you can even recall viewing a waterfall? Or maybe even fishing in a lake? How did these scenarios make you feel? Did it evoke feelings of peace and tranquility? If it did, there were some good things likely happening within your body at that time.  When we relax and are not in a stressful state, our cortisol levels decrease. When cortisol decreases, our body can be at a more restful state, thereby promoting a normal heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and increased immunity.

Water can be beneficial for the body by aiding inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis.  Working out in the water, such as, water aerobics can add great resistance for building muscles without inducing more stress on the joints.  If you suffer with joint problems, water aerobics may be a great way to exercise.

Hot and cold (Contrast Temperature Water Therapy) showering has been shown to also be effective in helping with muscle relaxation and reduction of injury.  Athletes tend to use this method to help muscle recovery. The athlete alternates between showering with hot water, then cold water.  The showering with hot water is 3 times longer than the cold water, and repeated 3-4 times. (Example, 90 second hot showering, followed by 30 second cold showering then repeat 3-4 more times). While this approach may be extreme for some, it’s something to consider if you are doing intensive workouts and wanting to decrease injury.

Soaking in a warm bath is also useful for relaxing muscles, and reducing tension.  It too can be a way to bring tranquility after a long and busy day. In fact, adding Epsom salt to warm soaking water has been reported for decades to benefit various types of joint pain and muscle soreness.

I encourage you to make sure you are incorporating the many ways that simply water can be so beneficial to your life.  Take time to allow the tranquility of a water scene to take affect in your life.  Try some of the other uses of water discussed and make sure you are drinking the optimal amount of water for your body.  It’s no wonder that God made Earth 75% water, and 50-75% of the human body water.  I conclude that it is that important to human life!

 

Reference:  The effect of contrast temperature water therapy on repeated sprinted performance.  Hamlin MJ.  J Sci Med Sport. 2007

 

Author: Dr. T.G. Day, MD is the CEO and Founder of Flourish with Dr. T.G. Day, MD Health Coaching. She is helping others achieve excellent health through wholistic health coaching.  If you are in pursuit of excellent health, and becoming the healthiest and fittest version of yourself, contact Dr. T.G. Day, MD for a free health coaching consultation.

Is all drinking water the same?

by: Dr. T. G. Day, MD

water bottles

Water is essential for human life, and the right amount of water is necessary for excellent health.  But, is there a difference in the drinking water available?  In this blog post I will discuss the various forms of drinking water and what makes each one unique.

First, let’s discuss tap water.  Tap water is transported to homes and buildings through a pipe system which comes from your local Water Treatment Facility.  Chemical and physical processes are used to filter and treat bacteria and impurities.  Beneficial minerals like fluoride, zinc and manganese are present in tap water. Counties, cities, and towns will have their own Water Facilities that will govern the water treatment and distribution locally. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency oversees the quality and safety of tap water.

Bottled water is also tested for impurities and bacteria.  This water contains minerals as well, and is then packaged in bottles and prepared for distribution by private companies.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration oversees the quality and safety of bottle water sold nationally.

Spring water comes from an underground formation that water flows naturally to the surface of Earth, such as, rainwater flowing down a mountain side, and collecting in an area at the bottom of the mountain.  Thereby, minerals from the rock are found in the spring water.

Purified water is water that has been distilled, deionized, gone through reverse osmosis, or other suitable processes to remove contaminants.  This water has had all substances removed.  It lacks minerals and ions as well.  Purified water is useful for autoclaves, hand-pieces, laboratory testing, laser cutting, and automative use. Although some may use this water for drinking purposes, it is not recommended because it is devoid of all minerals and ions useful for the human body.

Carbonated water is water that carbon dioxide gas under pressure has been dissolved. There are various names for carbonated water such as, sparkling, seltzer, or soda water.

Now that we have discussed some of the main types of drinking water, which one is best for you?  There are a number of factors to consider when choosing drinking water.  Tap water goes through filtration and treatment to be beneficial for the body, however, water treatment facilities may vary in different areas.  Also, if the pipe system is old, there may be larger exposures to lead.  Therefore,  I would suggest you reach out your local water treatment facility for a summary of what the water quality is in your area to help you decide as well.  Bottled drinking water also is filtered and treated for bacteria and other substances that isn’t beneficial for the body, but fluoride may not be present in it.  Fluoride can help prevent tooth decay.   Carbonated water doesn’t appear to have any health benefits over the other types, so this may be a preference based on taste.  Spring water certainly seems to have the benefits of minerals, but may be more difficult to acquire in its natural form.

I hope this discussion  helps you when choosing your source of drinking water. Because water is essential for human life and excellent health, it is important to choose the best quality drinking water when possible.