Power Your Life - Power Your Heart
The heart is often seen simply as an organ that pumps blood throughout the body.
However, the heart is actually much more complex, and affects our health and our body as a whole in many ways.
In addition to the burden of cardiovascular disease, we strain our health with too much stress, which can lead to a lack of sleep and unhealthy eating habits.
Protect and strengthen your heart, and therefore your general health as well, with a few simple lifestyle modifications.
Here are a few valuable tips on how you can protect your heart:
- Increased salt consumption can lead to high blood pressure.
- If you already suffer from high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, or diabetes, your salt consumption should be less than 6 grams per day.
- Avoid pre-prepared foods and too many meat and bread products. It is better to cook healthy and fresh meals yourself!
- Fruits and vegetables contain Potassium, which help counter the effects of sodium (salt), and therefore help reduce your blood pressure.
- High-quality oils such as Olive oil, Flaxseed oil, and Walnut oil should replace the intake of saturated fats and trans fats.
- Apples, peas, nuts, seeds, high-quality oils, green tea and garlic can reduce your cholesterol level.
- Bananas, raisins, kiwi, watermelon and chocolate with at least 60% cocoa help lower your blood pressure.
- Excessive alcohol consumption contributes to increased blood pressure by inducing a stress reaction within the body.
- The daily intake of pure alcohol should not exceed 30g (equivalent to 1/2 liter of beer) for men and 20g (equivalent to a small glass of wine) for women.
- Your body takes on the excess burden when you are overweight, which can contribute to heart disease.
- You can determine your Body Mass Index (BMI) either via a simple calculation or a body fat scale. Try to maintain your ideal body weight.
- Movement decreases your blood pressure, stimulates your metabolism and also reduces your stress level.
- The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 30 minutes of exercise daily.
- Stress is especially dangerous when combined with high blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack, obesity and heart disease.
- Stress can often lead to unhealthy nutrition as well as smoking.
- Lack of sleep induces stress.
- Smoking increases your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, and also damages your blood vessels.
- Too little sleep leads to stress and a burdened heart.
- Adults are recommended to sleep between 6 and 9 hours per night.
- Lack of sleep influences your eating habits, which can quickly lead to weight gain.
Our Summer Special
Summer is here and that means it is time to travel! This also holds true for individuals with cardiac problems. In accordance with the newest guidelines from the German Heart Foundation, the earlier principle that cardiac patients should be coddled no longer applies. The heart is a muscle that needs to be exercised regularly in order to stay fit and resilient. Start training your heart slowly, as to not cause too much stress on the heart. Large amounts of exertion, either physical or mental, can strain the heart.
We have gathered together a few travel tips based upon recommendations from the German Heart Foundation, allowing you to be well-prepared and carefree when on vacation.
Start by talking with your doctor to find out if you are fit enough to fly.
Always have your medications with you. When flying, pack your medications in your hand luggage.
The heart is subjected to stress when traveling by plane. If you have heart failure, arrhythmias or history of heart attack, your cardiologist will determine on an individual basis if you are fit enough to fly.
If you suffer from difficulty breathing (for example, due to pulmonary congestion from a cardiac problem) your physician should decide if you should be flying.
Long car rides can stress the circulation. Do not plan a long car ride for at least two to three months after an infarct.
If you suffer from very low blood pressure, frequent episodes of angina pectoris or arrhythmias, consult your physician to learn your suitability for sitting in traffic.
When possible, avoid carrying heavy suitcases.
Avoid alcohol and smoking.
Lay down in the shade – this protects your skin from a sunburn, and your heart from heat-induced strain.
For heart patients, flat and warm areas are the best-suited travel destinations.
Take the necessary time to allow your body to adapt to the climate change.
When possible, don’t plunge into the ocean alone. When the water is cold it can burden the cardiovascular system.
Vacation is the perfect time to start exercising. Read our article Exercise for a Healthy Heart for some ideas about how to get started.
If symptoms occur, don’t delay in seeking medical attention.
Our Spring Special
In spring, allergy sufferers have a difficult time. Due to the high pollen count, many people are affected by hay fever, which presents with an itching and burning sensation in the eyes and nose, coughing or the presence of allergic asthma. If the symptoms are not treated with various measures, inhaled pollen can impact the lungs, which can lead to bronchitis or asthma. Few people realize that the heart can also be affected. Chronic inflammation and lung disease can place stress on the heart, making the heart work harder. This excess burden can lead to heart failure. However, there are measures that allergy sufferers can take to alleviate the symptoms and to reduce the stress on the heart. Read our tips to help get through daily life during allergy season more comfortably.
13 Tips for Avoiding Pollen
This helps you to avoid unnecessary stress on your immune system.
It is best to ventilate in the city between 6am and 8am, and in the countryside between 8pm and midnight, when there is the least amount of pollen in the air. When it is very windy it is best to avoid ventilating. Protective window screens can also decrease the pollen load.
Remove dust and pollen on a regular basis from your apartment by using a wet cloth or a vacuum with a pollen filter (this should be regularly changed). Avoid rugs to which pollen easily attaches.
Do not get undressed in the bedroom, as clothes are full of pollen. Avoid hanging your clothes outside to dry, and regularly wash your bedding.
Most pollen is found in your hair. When unwashed, pollen transfers onto your pillow, which you then breathe in at night.
During pollen season, avoid strenuous physical activity outside. When you breathe deeper, more pollen enters the airway. It is preferable to train indoors when the pollen count is high.
When it has rained for longer than 15 minutes, use this time to get outside in the fresh pollen-free air.
This helps avoid pollen directly entering the eyes and alleviates itching.
Close the windows when driving and have a pollen filter installed.
Those who react to birch or hazelnuts often do not tolerate carrots, apples or nuts. Those allergic to grass may also react to peppers or parsley. Allergens can be destroyed by heating or freezing food products.
The air is pollen-free above 2,000 meters. The air by the ocean or in the desert is also low in pollen.
Antihistamines alleviate the symptoms of allergies and should be taken shortly before pollen is present to best prevent symptoms. You can therefore prevent a conversion from hay fever to asthma. Eye and nasal drops can also temporarily relieve symptoms.
Allergy injections administered by your physician are given until the undesired allergic reaction stays away.
What you can do to battle symptoms:*
- A daily nasal cleansing with salt water rinses out the pollen and disinfects the nasal mucosa, thereby strengthening it.
- Butterbur tablets dilate the bronchi and alleviate inflammatory asthmatic reactions.
- Dried-out mucosa provides a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses, and can be rubbed with Dexpanthenol 3x daily.
- Vapors with dill or fennel oil help treat congested bronchi.
- Cool face masks or peppermint oil alleviate tension headaches.
- Yoga and relaxation exercises help fight stress, which can make hay fever and its symptoms worse due to histamine release.
- Euphrasia diluted with water used as an eye cover reduces itching
*Please consult your doctor or pharmacist for more information or to inquire re: any possible side effects
2018 Pollen Calendar
Click here to view specific information regarding the 2018 pollen season.