Lub-dub lub-dub lub-dub… the sound of a normal beating heart. This isn’t how my heart sounds. Mine has more of a whoosh, a swishing noise. A heart murmur? Yes you hit the jackpot congrats.
How did I find this out?
Thursday 14th of December I was weight training. I was performing some weighted squats and suddenly I felt a stabbing pain from my chest, I felt like a dizzy dummy and my chest felt frozen. Also it hurt to breathe. This wasn’t a new feeling to me.
I was 15 years old in my Dad’s car and was taking off my seat belt when we arrived home. Without warning my heart felt frozen, my chest felt tight but this time I couldn’t move for about 5 minutes. This situation where my heart feels frozen has occurred from time to time since and more recently this year 2017. Sometimes I wake up at 3-4am and am short of breath. I went to the Doc Friday who checked my heart beat. This is when she discovered the murmur.
Soooo… The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute have said heart murmurs can be innocent or abnormal depending on the loudness, location and timing of the murmur.I have been referred to a cardiologist to have an echo cardiogram. This is SO imperative to check the heart rhythm and how well my heart is working. Hopefully it is nothing serious.
Overall I feel very scared when my heart starts to hurt. I just want to dedicate this post to ways you can improve your heart health. Let’s reduce risk of developing heart problems. Live lion hearted!
Live Lion Hearted-Tips to improve heart health:
- (You will love me for this) SWEET TRUTH; chocolate. Consuming moderate amounts of chocolate can help lower the risk of atrial fibrillation (AF) a common and dangerous type of irregular heart beat according to researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Dark chocolate with a high content of flavanols may promote healthy blood vessel function (check the 3rd link at the end of this blog for more info). My Recommendation: maybe take 30g of dark chocolate once a week if you aren’t on a restricted diet. I read this in womenshealth.
- Appreciate Life: Find ways to become more positive emotionally. Positive emotions are linked to better health and a longer life. Just try to avoid unnecessary stress. If you think about it high blood pressure is caused by worry, stress, anger and hostile emotions…start becoming more positive. My Recommendation: Practice deep breathing for a few minutes each day to relax your mind and give yourself time and space. Yoga may be the perfect cure in fact…relaxation can help lower blood pressure. You just have to think “Can I do anything about it now?” No.. stop stressing about the future and past..Carpe Diem!!!!
- (You won’t love me for this) Stop drinking alcohol. Drinking can hurt your health and your heart (Alcohol Think Again). The cardiovascular system is affected by alcohol. Why? Because drinking alcohol increases the heart rate temporarily. However, as you keep drinking and drinking over time this can lead to increased heart rate, a weakened heart muscle and irregular heartbeat. My recommendations: R.I.P drinking days.. I’ve been sober for 2 months + now!!
- Have regular checkups and listen to your Doctor. Not going to lie Doctors scare me don’t ask why haha. But when you find the right Doctor, someone who actually cares and isn’t just interested in your money this can be comforting. My recommendations: Find a good Doctor and follow their advice e.g. take the medications they provide you.
- Enjoy regular exercise and weight training. Exercise increases your lifespan, reduces chronic disease, makes you feel happier, detoxifies the body, decreases stress, strengthens the heart, strengthens the arms and muscles around your heart!!! You don’t need to do HIIT for an hour, stick to weight training and light cardio if you feel this is right for your body. My recommendations: I just do weights and light cardio. Intense HIIT makes me feel faint and short of breath. It didn’t work for my body.
- Stop smoking. Tobacco contributes to as much as one third of all heart diseases. My recommendations: Ditch the ciggs. My Grandad died from lung cancer. He used to smoke 60+ ciggs a day. That’s why ciggs have never appealed to me. I have smoked socially in the past but it made me feel gross #truth #sorrynotsorry.
- Eat Right!!!!. I’ve read that foods ridiculously good for the heart include: Oatmeal, Salmon, Avocado, spinach, berries.. head to health.com to find out more. My recommendations: Start your day with a bowl of oatmeal or in my case Salmon!!! 😀
- Distract yourself. Plan fun social activities with your friends, gym buddies or family. This is my biggest problem.. I don’t distract myself enough. My recommendations: Start each day by writing a list of goals you want to achieve or activities you want to do, distract yourself with these.. I find that I feel more positive when I achieve each goal.
Hope you enjoyed this post! It was a little different but inspired by a real event. Please feel free to leave your comments below, can anyone relate?
Love Em, xx