by Michael D. Allen, DC, NMD
A new approach to heart health shows promise.
While it is true that aerobic exercise is wonderful for brain function, more may not be better. Aerobic exercise helps use oxygen, and the exercise movements generate signals to the brain that normally keep the heart from beating too fast. The brain craves these exercise signals and the heart loves the safeguards they bring. In fact, cardiovascular exercise may be more important for the brain than it is for the heart.
A healthy heart stays within strict limits. A healthy heart puts out more blood per pump rather than increasing its rate. Given average health status, the newest heart evidence indicates that a 44-year-old female should keep her aerobic heart rate between 121-131 beats per minute. That is 30-33 beats every 15 seconds. Sound too slow for you? Pay attention.
Revving your heart too fast could lead to trouble. Heart attacks appear to start in the brain and not necessarily in the heart. Recent research shows that a heart attack is primarily an electrical event rather than the results of a blood clot. When the heart beats faster than the brain wants to allow, that spells trouble.
The latest heart attack statistics prove more losses than gains. They show that women are more likely to die of heart attack than from any other cause. Women are almost three times more likely to die of heart attack than breast cancer. While men have more heart attacks, women catch up to men as they age. The blunt truth is that the American Heart Association predicts everyone will eventually develop heart disease and it is only a matter of time until symptoms appear. Nobody wants a heart attack but how many people are taking proper care of their heart to prevent one?
The dreaded “heart attack” can turn lives upside down. But why wait? Making some changes now can reduce your probability for heart disease and help you live a longer, healthier life.
Here is the point: An EKG checks the heart, but it cannot check the brain’s power to manage the heart. Most people exercise too vigorously and run the risk of becoming another heart disease statistic. It’s like they unknowingly unplug their heart from their brain and problems develop. Unhealthy heart habits are painless until that one fatal episode, and that means trouble. That is how heart disease got the name, “The Silent Killer.”
The stricter you are with your heart rate, the harder it will be to reach your target range, and the healthier your brain becomes. Aerobic exercise done properly quickens the right kind of nerve signals from the muscles and joints straight to the brain. That turns on the systems that regulate heart rate. Broad-based aerobic control is crucial for proper heart health. Daily moderate exercise within strict heart rate limits not only builds heart muscle, but it also stimulates the brain and manages the heartbeat.
We can tell if your heart is plugged into your brain. We’re HealthBuilderS®. Give us a call today!