February is Heart Month. So let’s send some love to the muscle with the most endurance. Yes glutes are cool and having killer abdominals is neat… but the hearts got… well heart.
I can totally nerd out on the function of the heart, but I will *try* to keep it chill. I also want to dive into why love and emotions are connected to the heart. I have totally experience chest wrenching heart break but why does this happen… on that later.
Your heart pumps blood to the muscles of the body, bringing oxygenated blood to the muscles and back to the lungs to get re-oxygenated again. The anatomy of the heart is what accomplishes this oxidization of the blood. The heart has 4 chambers and these chambers contracting at different times pushing the blood to the lungs and then back out the body. The thump thump you hear is the valves in these chambers opening and closing. The heart has 2 nodes made up of both muscle and nervous tissue that regulate the heartbeat, yes it’s own pacemaker (Thought Co, 2019). The heart decides what the demand for oxygen is an adjusts the heart rate accordingly. The heart beats about 100 thousand times a day!
But why is the heart linked to emotion?
I remember watching this Greys anatomy episode about a woman who had a heart attack every year because it was linked to a traumatic event she experienced (Season 2 Episode 5). She was ultimately diagnosed with “Stress Induced Cardio Myopathy”. This is actually documented by the medical community and is also known as "Broken Heart Syndrome. The coronary arteries go into spasm causing the heart to not contract normally and a decreased blood supply to the heart. (Abbott 2017). Chronic depression can cause “Sad Heart Syndrome” due stressors like high blood pressure and increase stress hormones like cortisol. This stress can actually put patients are a greater risk of heart disease (American Heart Association, 2021). These syndromes explain why the heart is often linked to emotion and why the heart has been connected to emotions even before we had the science to support it.
Although we can’t control when our lives get turned upside down, we can support the heart with lifestyle, diet, and exercise. This week’s video is part of the 15 minutes for… series. And you guess it today we are focusing on cardio. This workout is great on its own, but you can also use it to warm up the body to prepare for a workout.
Verna Bradley Episode 5 Season 2 Retrieved from : https://greysanatomy.fandom.com/wiki/Verna_Bradley
Heart Nodes and Electrical Conduction, John Hopkins Medicine. Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/anatomy-and-function-of-the-hearts-electrical-system
What Science Tells Us About Emotions and our Hearts, 2017. Abbott Retrieved from: https://www.abbott.com/corpnewsroom/healthy-heart/heart-emotion.html
How to depression affect the heart, 2021. American Heart Association Retrieved from: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/mental-health-and-wellbeing/how-does-depression-affect-the-heart