February 2011 - Your Heart is Your #1 Employee

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Too many of us take our heart for granted until it's too late. We go about our busy days rarely, if ever, paying much attention to the major job it's doing--keeping us alive.

I'd like for you to think of you heart as one of your most valuable and cherished employees. This loyal and wonderful employee is devoted to you for life. Treat your employee well, and it will do a good job for you. Treat it badly, and oh boy!-watch out-because your employee will turn on you. It'll do sloppy work; it'll call in sick when you need it most, and if you really mistreat it badly-it'll just up and quit!!

Your heart works hard for you 24 hours a day; 365 days a year; for an average of 80 years. That's a long time to work that hard with no time off!! If you had a job that required you to work that schedule, you'd likely complain, ask for time off, or quit. But not your heart. It hangs in there with you and asks only that you do a few simple things. First, your heart loves it when you provide a clean and healthy work environment: no smoking, drinking, drugs. Second, great nutrition. Lots of fruits, vegetables, low salt, low fat, low cholesterol foods to keep the arteries clean and functional. Regular exercise is also necessary to help keep that heart muscle strong so it can do its job effortlessly. And finally, proper rest to allow the body to rejuvenate itself.

Despite these simple requirements, way too many of us abuse our heart with foods that make us fat rather then fit. We pollute our bodies when we smoke, drink, skip exercise, and allow ourselves to become overweight, hypertensive, and diabetic. As a result, our heart, our most trusted employee, has a tough time doing its job. It becomes unreliable, and eventually quits. At that point, we're surprised and often wonder what happened. Well, just like any employee that is abused and taken for granted-enough is enough.

When it comes to your heart-have a heart. Your heart is prepared to work for you for your entire lifetime. All you have to do is treat your body the way you would like to be treated on your job...with respect. That means making sure you recognize your heart's vital role in your life, that you value that role, and that you will do everything in your power to make sure that you provide a heart-healthy, heart happy, workplace for your heart to do it's job!!

With you on your journey to wellness

Dr. Mary S. Harris

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