Open Your Heart

This February INVIVO helps you celebrate Valentine’s day with tips to take care of your heart from all dimensions of your being.

Let’s start with the importance of heart health. The latest statistics from the CDC estimate that about 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths. Let us not forget that heart disease remains the leading cause of death for both men and women, while stroke is the number five killer in the nation. A quick review of our risk factors: high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol and smoking are your big three. The CDC estimates about half of Americans have at least one of these three risk factors. Other medical conditions and lifestyle choices that can increase your risk include being overweight, having a poor diet, consuming excess alcohol, being a diabetic and physical inactivity.

Let’s focus in on that last one, physical inactivity. Recent reports claim 43.3% of Americans fail to meet the recommended guidelines for physical activity. Globally the number is 31%, and the saddest statistic shows over 80% of teens (age 13-15) are leading sedentary lifestyles.

So where do you fall on that spectrum? Perhaps it’s helpful to review the current recommendations from the American Heart Association. For overall cardiovascular health, we should aim for:

• A minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least five days per week for a total of 150 minutes.

OR

• A minimum of 25 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity at least three days per week for a total of 75 minutes
AND
• Moderate to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least two days per week for additional health benefits.

To lower blood pressure and cholesterol you need an average 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity three or four times per week.

Are you reaching these goals? Have you sat down and tracked your daily physical activity? Our INVIVO members have access to over 25 classes per week including yoga, high intensity training and muscle strengthening classes. The Fitness Studio is well equipped to meet daily aerobic needs and for those who just need the guidance and accountability we have a team of outstanding personal trainers.

Let’s switch gears to the metaphysical. While a yoga practice counts towards moderate activity, there are additional, though perhaps less researched benefits for your heart chakra. In Sanskrit, Chakra means “wheel” or “vortex.” In our bodies, there are seven primary chakras that start at the base of our body and travel up to the crown of our head. When these energy centers are out of balance, we can experience physical, energetic and emotional imbalances within the body. Our 4th chakra, or heart chakra, is the center for harmony, unconditional love, creativity and health. An open heart chakra helps us maintain harmony in our relationships and happiness within ourselves. Read more about poses to open your heart chakra here!

We share this information out of love for you, our INVIVO members and friends! We are here to help you take care of your heart and the rest of your body. For a complete, up-to-date listing of our classes and additional offerings be sure to check out our website.

Namaste friends and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Patricia Fasciotti is a Physical Therapist and Wellness Director at INVIVO. Patricia has spent over 10 years in the field of outpatient orthopedics. Most recently, Patricia completed her 200-hour certification to become a registered Yoga teacher (RYT). Patricia lives in Brookfield with her husband and two children. She enjoys running, yoga, pilates, and exploring all that Milwaukee has to offer!