Monthly Archives: August 2016

How to a Healthy Heart

I absolutely trust that a genuine grin is the route to a sound heart. Joined with a tad bit of science and a smidgen of individual experience, this post will explain to you why grinning is useful for wellbeing, for a grin in reality has numerous medical advantages!

A smile is probably one of the simplest of cures for anything in this world – broken confidence, broken dreams, even a broken heart. I have almost lost count of how many times I have looked into the mirror and just smiled at myself, and how it has worked to get me out of a bad mood! At the end of it you become so infected by your own smile, you wish the reflection you are seeing in the mirror were an actual person and you could hug that person and thank that person for being so nice to you!

Smiling for a Healthy Heart

The heart is one of the most vital organs of the body. The size of your heart is roughly equal to the size of your fist – with the thumb closed in. Now just imagine; such a tiny little pump sees to it that every drop of blood – and there are countless in 5 liters of blood – circulates through the body almost twice a day, everyday. That is indeed a lot of work, and you can imagine the amount of pressure on the heart and even the blood vessels of the body. Now just think about the amount of things, and the number of times, and the countless moments in life that we spend being upset about something – does it still seem worth it?

I said in one of my previous articles that it is only a healthy body that can host a happy mind. Today I will go on to say – converse is also true. If you are happy, you are going to feel great, and your body is going to respond to all that positive energy within itself. If you stay happy, you will feel positive about your life, more confident to tackle all of life’s challenges, and grab the bull by its horns. And one of the best ways to stay happy is to keep smiling. More smiles correspond to less frowns, which mean less tension and stress. Ultimately less pressure on the mind and body pave the way to a healthy body and a healthy heart.

Laughter Therapy

Did you know that laughing actually improves your blood circulation? Take a look at yourself the next time you laugh over something – the extremities of your face – particularly your nose tip and your ears – will have probably gone red and hot! It has been proved now that laughter causes the endothelium of blood vessels to dilate. Laughing also causes the body to release nitrous oxide, or the laughing gas as it is commonly called. And what’s more – seeing someone laugh makes you smile, then grin ear to ear, and finally laugh yourself! And that is what forms the basis of Dr. Madan Kataria’s brainchild, Hasyayoga – or Laughter Yoga. The source of laughter in these groups, where laughter is an exercise rather than just an expression, is not humor. But anyone passing by one of the Hasyayoga groups would burst out laughing looking at them anyway. Increased laughter means better blood circulation, which in turn ensures the health of your body, and particularly that of your heart.

Smile and Human Psychology

A common saying in any profession related to hospitality is ‘Serve with a Smile’. Nobody likes to be welcomed by a grumpy, sullen, grouchy receptionist, be it at the doctor’s or at a five-star hotel. Have you ever noticed that most wall-clocks on display in stores show the time ten minutes past ten? If yes, have you ever wondered why? It is because the way the hands of a clock are positioned at that time make it look like a smile. Watching someone smile is contagious, and you almost involuntarily tend to smile back at the person you saw smiling. In fact, so powerful is the emotion and emotional connect, that even reading the word ‘smile’ in this article must have made you smile at some point – and if not, then me mentioning it right now must definitely have! (See, there you go!) In part this could be to do with mirror neurons found in the body. Mirror neurons are those that send out the same signals when the body is subjected to a stimulus, and even when that organism sees another organism being subjected to the same stimulus. So when we say ‘I can feel your pain’, we really can feel someone’s pain. And that is probably why when you see someone yawn, you yawn too, and while you see someone smile or laugh, you smile or laugh too. Laughter indeed is contagious.

One cannot stress enough on the importance of being happy. In the words of Leo F. Buscaglia, too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
So spread the joy! Let someone be bowled over by your million dollar smile today. Keep smiling… cheers!

Charts for Resting Heart Rate

Resting heart rate is the quantity of heart thumps every moment, measured under a state of finish rest. Such resting heartbeat is a pointer of general wellness and wellbeing. The present article gives graphs demonstrating the resting heart rates at various wellness levels and ages.

The number of heart beats per minute, measured when the individual is in a state of rest, but awake, is termed as the resting heart rate, and is denoted by resting HR, RHR or HRRest.

It is generally measured early in the morning before indulging in daily activities which increase the heart rate.

Such heart rate at rest indicates cardiac efficiency of an individual, and ranges between 60 to 100 bpm (beats per minute) for adults.

However, values closer to the lower limit of this range qualify as a good resting heart rate. In fact, well trained athletes show a resting heart rate between 40 to 60 bpm.

Given below is a quick overview of the normal ranges for different age groups, followed by detailed charts giving resting heart rates by age along with the fitness level they signify.

A Quick Overview

The pulse rate chart given below indicates normal range of resting heart rates for newborns, infants, children, adults as well as athletes.

Age Resting Heart Rate
(beats per minute)
0-3 months 100-150
3-6 months 90-120
6-12 months 80-120
1-10 years 70-130
Above 10 years 60-100
Well-trained athletes 40-60

Resting Heart Rate Charts by Age

Presented here are charts that elucidate the ideal resting heart rates for women and men, at seven different levels of fitness. Find out where you ‘fit’ in.

Age Fitness Quotient for Women
Athlete Excellent Good Above Average Average Below Average Poor
18-25 54-60 61-65 66-69 70-73 74-78 79-84 85+
26-35 54-59 60-64 65-68 69-72 73-76 77-82 83+
36-45 54-59 60-64 65-69 70-73 74-78 79-84 85+
46-55 54-60 61-65 66-69 70-73 74-77 78-83 84+
56-65 54-59 60-64 65-68 69-73 74-77 78-83 84+
65+ 54-59 60-64 65-68 69-72 73-76 77-84 84+

Age Fitness Quotient for Men
Athlete Excellent Good Above Average Average Below Average Poor
18-25 49-55 56-61 62-65 66-69 70-73 74-81 82+
26-35 49-54 55-61 62-65 66-70 71-74 75-81 82+
36-45 50-56 57-62 63-66 67-70 71-75 76-82 83+
46-55 50-57 58-63 64-67 68-71 72-76 77-83 84+
56-65 51-56 57-61 62-67 68-71 72-75 76-81 82+
65+ 50-55 56-61 62-65 66-69 70-73 74-79 80+

How to Measure Resting Heart Rate

It is recommended to measure the resting heart rate in the morning, just after waking up. Either the radial pulse, felt on the wrist, or the carotid pulse of the neck is measured. Given below are a few simple steps as well as tips to ensure the correct measurement of resting heart rate.

Radial Pulse
» Place the tips of your index and middle finger on the opposite wrist, slightly below the base of your thumb.
» Once you feel the beats, count the number of beats for 10 seconds.
» Multiply this value by six to get the number of beats per minute.
Carotid Pulse
» Place the tips of your index and middle finger on any side of the neck, just below the angle of the jaw.
» Press lightly to feel the pulse, and record the number of beats in 10 seconds.
» Multiply the value by six to obtain the beats per minute.

Points to Remember
☞ Once awake, refrain from suddenly attempting to measure the pulse. Sudden activities will increase the heart rate thus giving an erroneous heart rate at rest.

☞ If measuring at any other time during the day, ensure that you lie down peacefully for at least for 15 minutes before measuring the heart rate.

☞ Body position influences the heart rate. Hence measure the pulse rate in a supine position, rather than sitting or standing position.

☞ Measure the pulse for four or five consecutive days, and determine the average of these values for higher accuracy.

Abnormal Resting Heart Rate

Resting heart rate beyond the range of 60-100 beats per minute is considered to be an indication of cardiac arrhythmia if accompanied with dizziness, fatigue, chest pain, short breaths and fainting. It may be the result of heart damage due to aging, electrolyte imbalance, alcohol, high blood pressure and cardiac disorders.

A pulse rate below 60 bpm is termed as bradycardia, and needs medical attention only if the above mentioned symptoms are also experienced. On the contrary, a resting pulse rate above 100 bpm is termed as tachycardia. It is characterized by palpitations along with the above mentioned symptoms, and often demands immediate medical help.

Resting heart rate reveals the pumping efficiency of the heart. Lower the resting pulse, higher is the cardiac efficiency and fitness level of an individual.

Heart Palpitations at Night

Heart palpitations are nothing but rapid heartbeats which tend to give a pounding feeling. The normal rate at which the heart beats in an adult is usually 60 – 100 beats per minute. Rapid heartbeats occur when the heart beats more than 100 beats per minute, which in medical terms is known as tachycardia. The abnormality in the heart rhythm is known as arrhythmia, which is the main cause behind heart palpitations. Experiencing these palpitations is not always bad; it’s normal to feel them when a person is under any form of physical or mental stress. However, if you are unable to determine the reason behind the unexplained palpitations, then there is a possibility of it to be an alarming sign of an underlying health issue. You must seek medical assistance immediately if there are other symptoms like dizziness, shortness of breath, or any kind of pressure or pain in the chest.

You can experience these abnormal palpitations at any time of the day. There are many people who experience these during the night, while they are preparing to sleep. While most people associate arrhythmia with heart related problems, there can be many other reasons, ranging from external to internal factors.

Causes of Rapid Heartbeat at Night

Are You …
Stressed out about something? Is there a problem that is making you do a lot of thinking?
Having a lot of caffeine lately, coffee or energy drinks? Especially before going to bed?
Lighting up a lot of smokes, or pouring in a lot of drinks these days?
Or You May Be …
Taking certain medications, herbs or diet pills that are causing this …
Consuming heavy meals containing high amount of fats and carbs, especially before going to bed.
Not drinking a lot of water to keep yourself well hydrated.

The aforementioned are some of the most common reasons behind experiencing rapid heartbeats. So, if you have said yes to even one of the questions mentioned above, then you know what modifications are required in your lifestyle. Stress is the most common cause associated for this condition. If your mind is upset about certain things or events happening in your life, you might be lying on the bed and thinking about those things over and over again. Or, you might be sipping alcohol, smoking a cigarette and doing too much of thinking before going to bed, which in turn, is leading to heart palpitations in the night. Does that make sense?

Apart from stress, there are other facets to this problem, as well. Palpitations of the heart could be a symptom of many health conditions, or an alarm for you to pull up your socks and bring healthy changes in your lifestyle. Some such causes are mentioned as under.

  • Consumption of certain medications, like asthma, high blood pressure, or cold and cough medications containing a stimulant known as pseudoephedrine can also cause palpitations. Consult with your doctor if this could be the cause.
  • Pregnancy leads to significant hormonal changes in a woman’s body, which can cause heart palpitations. This can also be experienced during menstruation.
  • Thoughts and incidents that lead to strong emotions like stress, anxiety, or fear.
  • Fever could be another reason for heart palpitations.
  • Performing exercises which are strenuous in nature, especially if you do it just before sleeping.
  • If you consume a heavy meal in the night, and experience heart palpitations, it simply means that the heart is pumping in more blood into your stomach to help digestion.
  • Hyperthyroidism is also a very common reason behind palpitation.
  • Health problems like blood pressure and heart-related problems.
  • Rapid heartbeat signifies that the heart is having troubles to get adequate amount of oxygen, due to low levels of oxygen in the blood. Therefore, drinking water is necessary.
  • Another reason for heart palpitations is high cholesterol levels in the body. If that’s the case, then you will also be experiencing symptoms like excessive sweating, pain in the left arm, and fatigue.

Getting a professional advice on the condition is a must to avoid further complications.

Treatment for Heart Palpitations

Heart palpitations could be determined only by conducting proper tests and diagnosis, which can help in revealing the exact palpitation causes. Tests and examinations including ECG, chest X-ray, Holter monitoring, echo-cardiogram, and so on, are used to identify the exact cause. Medial assistance is a must.

There is no scope for self-diagnosis when it comes to this condition. And because your heartbeat is in question, you cannot delay the visit to the doctor, as well. Your healthcare specialist would give you the appropriate treatment, and ask you to follow certain lifestyle changes. Some of them are mentioned as under.

  • Perform meditation and exercise to reduce stress and anxiety.
    Make sure you get a good and sound sleep at night.
  • Avoid intake of caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and medications or drugs that consist of stimulants that boost heart rate.
  • Consumption of illegal drugs, like marijuana, cocaine, etc., can also cause rapid heart rate. Therefore, it is best to avoid these.
  • Do not eat anything at least 4 hours before going to bed to avoid heart palpitations at night while you are about to sleep.
  • It would be a good idea to record the timings and the frequency of heart palpitations.

No matter how minor or severe be the case of experiencing heart palpitations, it is strictly advisable to consult a doctor and seek medical advice without any further delay, especially if the palpitations are accompanied by dizziness and tightness in the chest. Do not delay and seek professional help immediately. Take care.

Tips to Keep Your Heart Healthy

unduhan-10Misconception
It is a serious misconception that being in excellent physical condition makes you less vulnerable to heart diseases. It is true that good levels of physical conditioning are a contributing factor in keeping your heart healthy, but it is not the only one. In short, fitness and health may be two different subjects if we look at it with intricacy. It is not an absolute necessity that a bodybuilder is less prone to developing a heart disease than an average man.

Go Green
When we speak of the heart, we cannot ignore the importance and benefits of plant-based foods. Vegetables are an excellent source of Glutamic acid. It is a class of amino acids which helps to keep blood pressure at lower levels; safe levels, so to say. What’s more? Veggies lack cholesterol, fat and even calories, which otherwise tend to be the common culprits for causing heart diseases. Not to mention, the amount of vitamins and minerals that vegetables provide.

Be Active
Without the aid of daily exercise, maintaining your health is a daunting task. Exercises not only improves heart function, but also helps in lowering blood pressure, and cholesterol levels in the body. A mere 30 minutes stroll daily does good for the heart. It is said that sprinting is more beneficial for the heart, than jogging.

Reduce Oil
Although, you cannot avoid oil completely, you can keep its consumption to a minimum. As oils are a storehouse of calories mostly consisting of fat, they have high chances of leading to the development of plaque in the arteries. This gives rise to some nasty heart problems. However, not all types of oil are unhealthy. Fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acids, which help in preventing cardiovascular diseases and reduce instances of heart attack.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, people with cardiovascular disease had 30% less likelihood of heart attacks because of omega-3 fatty acids. Best sources include salmon, mackerel and herring. Flax seed, walnuts, and soybeans are also good sources.

Cut the Smoke
If you think you cannot shun the habit of smoking, then you might as well know that you cannot do anything good for your heart. One of the most severe risks of smoking relates to heart diseases in almost every smoker. Quit smoking, and you have done half the job in keeping your heart healthy!

Lose Weight
If your figure is slim, and belly flat, then you may have less things to worry about heart diseases. I am talking about weight loss. Being overweight puts extra load on the heart, thus increasing the risk of heart conditions. So, consume less sugary foods and more fiber, complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the basic necessities for a healthy heart today.

Add More Fiber
Fiber exists in two major groups; soluble and insoluble. Although both types are beneficial to health, it is the former type that does way better to reduce cholesterol levels in the body. Due to its soluble nature, it binds with the cholesterol in the intestines and keeps it from being absorbed. A healthy person requires a serving of 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber a day to avail this benefit of low cholesterol. Foods rich in this fiber include apples, peas, prunes, etc.

Beware of Saturated Fats
It is important that you limit the amount of saturated and trans fats you consume. These spike cholesterol levels in the body, thus increasing the risk of coronary disease. So avoid or limit consumption of food such as red meat, dairy products, coconut oil, palm oil. These are rich in saturated fatty acids. To avoid trans fats, eat less fast food, bakery products, snacks, crackers, and margarine. Go for foods rich in healthy fats such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.

Eat Less Salt
Sodium is good for the body, but in small amounts. High salt intake means high blood pressure, which eventually points out to heart conditions. When sodium starts accumulating in the blood, it attracts water which in turn, increases the blood volume. Now to keep this blood circulating through the blood vessels, the heart has to work harder thus, causing high blood pressure. The recommended amount of sodium in the food per day must be less than 2300 milligrams.

Take the Right Medication
In most cases, heart diseases are also related to the use of drugs. So, it is important that you take medicines as prescribed by the doctor, or get them altered if necessary.

Moderate Alcohol
Drinking alcohol in moderate amounts does not harm the body. In fact, some studies show that moderate consumption provides some benefits for the heart. However, the habit of drinking is analogous to walking on thin ice. It is not difficult for any one to step out of his limit, and become a heavy drinker. So, ensure that either you stick to moderate drinking or you don’t drink at all.

Manage Stress
Stress has also been known to be one of the common culprits of heart problems. Any stressful situation elevates blood pressure and this response takes its toll on the heart. So, keep yourself relaxed by practicing meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques.