Valentine’s day is fast approaching, red rose sales are at their highest, and heart-shaped novelties fill store shelves in the form of candies and cards. Have you ever wondered why the heart is the symbol of love? This symbol of romance and love began in medieval times because it was long believed that the human heart was where emotion and pleasure came from. Thanks to science, we now know that emotion and pleasure come from the brain, not the heart. Despite what we know, the brain will never be the showcase for Valentine’s day, we’ll leave that for Halloween! This is why the month of February is not only when Valentine’s day happens, but it’s also dedicated to Heart Month. A time to bring attention to the importance of heart health and cardiovascular disease. In this blog, we’ll share research and resources that have helped us and hopefully will help others along their wellness journeys.
H2K’s Heart Health Initiatives
According to the government of Canada, heart disease is the second leading cause of death and affects 2.4 million Canadian adults. It’s an issue that we take to heart. Here at Healthy Hooch Kombucha, we believe that taking care of one’s cardiovascular health is just as important as diet. We’re continually taking steps to create a healthy work environment that encourages healthy lifestyles. This year we asked each team member to create a movement goal for themselves, and are in the process of creating incentives to achieve them. When one team member falls ill, we all feel it, so we’re doing our best to discover what motivates each individual to keep pursuing good health and wellbeing. We’re making a flex room for yoga/gym activities for the team, to make movement easy and accessible. 15 to 20-minute breaks spent moving, and stretching can make all the difference. Creating a healthy team is a continual work in progress and a commitment to wellness.
What does the heart do?
The heart is one of the most exercised muscles in our bodies. It pumps blood all day, every day, until our last breath. It connects blood vessels, like arteries and veins that move blood around your circulatory system. Blood delivers nutrients like oxygen to our cells and disposes of waste like CO2 and dead cells. In a healthy heart this circulation process is when oxygen poor/low blood enters the right side of the heart through veins, then gets pumped into the lungs where it picks up oxygen and drops off carbon dioxide. Oxygen rich blood then leaves the lungs, enters the left side of the heart and is pumped through arteries to the rest of the body, and so it goes, on and on.
What is Heart Disease?
Heart disease or cardiovascular disease is any condition that affects the heart’s normal function. There are many different types, including coronary artery disease, heart rhythm disorders, structural heart disease, heart failure and arrhythmia. Heart disease can cause blocked arteries and veins, weak or narrow arteries, infections, and cause damage to the heart muscles or valves. This can mean less blood is pumped throughout the circulatory system, and your heart and cells don’t receive the oxygen they need.
Possible Symptoms of Heart Disease
Heart disease may go unnoticed in a person until they experience symptoms, and this is why it is so important to talk to your doctor and have regular check-ups. You may be thinking well I’m too young, heart disease is something that happens to “older” people. This is a common misconception, and the truth is, it can affect anyone no matter the age. Even though there are many types of heart disease, they may have similar symptoms:
- Tightness in the chest
- Pressure or discomfort in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the chest, neck, throat, abdomen, jaw, arms, legs or back
- Coldness in arms or legs
- Weakness or dizziness
- Irregular heartbeat
- Increased or decreased heart rate
What are the Causes of Heart Disease?
Many factors can cause heart disease such as age, ethnicity, gender, family or medical history. These are some additional factors that can contribute to heart disease:
- Poor diet
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Drug use
- Lack of physical activity
- Sleep apnea
How Can You Help Prevent Heart Disease?
- Talk to your doctor – Knowing your risk of heart disease is extremely important for prevention. They can also monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm, and cholesterol levels.
- Quit smoking – The Canadian Government has been creating new regulations to reduce smoking rates. They are also providing free support through trained specialists to help you quit smoking.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices – Eating a healthy balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, reducing stress and limiting alcohol consumption all play a part in heart health.
What We do at Healthy Hooch to Keep Healthy
At Healthy Hooch Kombucha, we incorporate health into every aspect of our lives, whether in the office or in our personal lives. We are always sharing ideas, evolving and learning. Some of the things we do to keep healthy are as follows:
- Exercise – We have a socially distanced run twice a week during lunch break to get the heart rate up and get some fresh air. We are also looking forward to the summer and doing some group hiking, mountain and road biking, and sports (when the restrictions are lifted of course). Our team members also have their go-to forms of exercise outside of the office like yoga, backcountry hiking, rollerblading and interval training.
- Functional Foods – We drink a lot of kombucha! Functional foods are foods and beverages that provide health benefits aside from their nutritional value. Kombucha is a functional food because it is loaded with digestive enzymes and probiotics that contribute to gut health. New studies show that gut health is linked to a healthier heart.
- Adaptogens – We’re a big fan of adaptogens! Thrive Remedies is the sister company to Healthy Hooch Kombucha, which is a line of adaptogenic teas. Adaptogens are herbs or plants that protect the body from stress, whether physical or mental. Stress can contribute to higher cholesterol, blood pressure, disruptions in sleep, eating behaviour changes, and loss of motivation. Adaptogens help give you that extra boost to help counteract all of those effects.
- Laughter – There is lots of laughter happening on the daily around the office. Laughter helps ease stress and is incredibly good for you, plus it doesn’t take any effort. When you laugh, you naturally take deeper breaths which means your blood is getting more oxygen. It also contributes to proper blood flow and lowers blood pressure reducing the risk of heart disease.
*** Disclaimer: The content on this website is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. It is not intended or suitable in place of advice from your health care practitioner or licensed physician. The information and products on this website should not be used for diagnosing, treating, curing or preventing a health problem, you should always consult a health care provider or licensed physician for advice. ***