Expert Author Richard Lobbenberg
Knowing whether or not your heart is healthy is very important, especially since heart disease is the number one killer in North America today. But with so much information available, what should you believe and what should you just laugh at? Here's a list to help you chuckle (which, incidentally, is very good for your heart):
1. I would know if I had high blood pressure. Sorry Harry Potter, but there's no magic spell that you can cast over yourself for that test. You can be in good physical condition and still have high blood pressure, and the same goes for high cholesterol. So drop the wand and see your doctor for a proper test.
2. I have heart disease so I should take it easy. Not according to Harvard Medical School, and they're SORT OF experts in this stuff. The best thing you can do, in fact, is get some physical activity at the level that's right for you. Your doctor can help you pinpoint that level. And when you know, try one-on-one yoga from one of our experts so that you can hit that sweet spot right away.
3. I'll know if I'm having a heart attack because I'll have chest pain. I wouldn't count on it. Signs of a heart attack are sometimes subtle. Other than chest pain, you might experience:
  • shortness of breath
  • nausea
  • feeling light-headed
  • pain or discomfort in one or both arms, your jaw, neck or back.
  • Not sure if it's a heart attack? Call 9-1-1 anyway - you might only get one chance.
4. Diabetes won't affect my heart if I'm taking my medication. Well now, that's just silly. Diabetes medication can help control your blood sugar levels, but not so much when it comes to your larger blood vessels - like the ones related to your heart. You're better off taking the diabetes med's to prevent issues with your smaller blood vessels (like the ones in your kidneys), and focusing on lowering cholesterol and high blood pressure, plus quitting smoking. See a naturopathic doctor for help with this area.
5. It's okay to have higher blood pressure when you're older. Not if you want to live a long life it's not! While blood pressure does tend to rise with age, that doesn't mean that it's 'okay'. Stiffer arterial walls make your heart pump harder, which further weakens the arteries near your heart and allows fat to deposit itself. This is how high blood pressure leads to heart attacks. Acupuncture works great for levelling out blood pressure, so consider get a little 'needling' today.