Take That Relationship Self-Help Book Advice to Heart, Literally

You tell yourself you’re just going to your local bookstore to look at the newest heart-health advice books when you find yourself wandering into the self-help section. The titles call out to you—Love Yourself, Love Him!, Speak Your Heart and the Rest Will Follow.

Hey, it’s OK. The funny thing is, that relationship advice you’re reading is more applicable to your heart than you realize.

One might say that heart attacks, which someone suffers about every 25 seconds in the U.S., are just as common as broken hearts. Reduce your risk by treating your heart right.


Relationship experts say: Make time for each other.
Heart-health-translation: Work out your heart every day.
Strengthening your heart muscle means it can pump stronger, improving blood flow and your heart’s ability to handle stress. And it should be done daily, according to Gerald Fletcher, M.D., a cardiologist and spokesman for the American Heart Association.

“I’d recommend 60 to 90 minutes of exercise a day if you’re overweight, 20 to 30 minutes a day if you’re not,” Fletcher says. “Walking, cycling, elliptical training—these are all good. Add in some weights two to three times a week.”

Relationship experts say: Listen to your partner.
Heart-health-translation: Pay special attention to what your heart is trying to tell you.
“Chest discomfort is a point of concern,” Fletcher says. So is excessive fatigue, shortness of breath or flu-like symptoms that come on suddenly. These can be signs of a heart attack, and ignoring them can be a fatal mistake. Get to your local emergency room immediately.

Relationship experts say: Don’t fall into a rut.
Heart-health-translation: Eating healthfully doesn’t have to mean sticking to a repetitive menu.
It’s easy to fall into a dinner rut, choosing the same safe options time and time again so you’re not tempted to just order a pizza. But eating right doesn’t have to mean boiled chicken breasts and steamed broccoli.

Take a cooking class to learn new ways to spice things up, or visit your local library and check out a healthy-meals cookbook. Make it a goal to try one new recipe a week. Experiment with exotic spices in lieu of calorie-laden sauces. And involve the whole family. Kids will be more likely to eat a new food if they help make it.

Relationship experts say: Check in with each other every now and then.
Heart-health-translation: Connect with your heart by knowing your numbers.
Check your blood pressure regularly. “Some people don’t take the trouble to check their blood pressure and cholesterol,” Fletcher says. “But these are very important.” Knowing whether you’re at risk can help prevent a future heart attack.

A normal blood pressure level is 120/80, or lower, for an adult 20 or older. A total blood cholesterol level of less than 200 mg/dL is what you want to aim for, as it puts you at lower risk for heart disease.
GMC Knows Heart

From diagnosing heart disease to treating cardiovascular conditions such as cardiomyopathy, blocked arteries or arrhythmia, Gwinnett Medical Center has provided expert care for cardiovascular diseases in our community for more than 20 years.

Our state-of-the-art facility, Strickland Heart Center,  features the most advanced operating rooms and cardiac catheterization laboratories in the Atlanta area. It’s also home to a comprehensive array of advanced cardiovascular services, including open heart surgery.

GMC Can Help You Be Heart Healthy
GMC offers fitness classes like yoga, zumba and cardio dance mix as well as one-on-one nutritional training. To learn more, click the following links: Fitness Services and Nutrition Counseling.

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