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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

February is American Heart Month

Lee’s Summit Journal

By Vickie Mears, Bereavement Coordinator, Crossroads Hospice, Kansas City

February is American Hearth Month, a time to recognize the importance of keeping your heart healthy. If you’ve recently lost a family member or close friend, the pain of a broken heart may be devastating – from the inside out.

Losing a loved one can bring overwhelming feelings of grief, depression and anger. It can also lead to changes in sleep and eating habits. Together, the emotional and physical effects of grief can put a great deal of stress on your heart.

According to a recent study by the American Heart Association, the loss of a loved can dramatically increase a person’s risk for a heart attack. In the days immediately following a loss, heart attack risk jumped to 21 times the normal rate.

Now, during American Heart Month, is a good time to take simple steps to take care of your heart. Working through the grief process can be as hard on your body as it is on your spirit. The wise advice about paying attention to what you eat and maintaining some form of moderate exercise is especially important now.

In all cases, what’s healthy for your heart is also healthy for your mind.

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