As February is American Heart Month, the Live Healthy Douglas Coalition has worked to remind and educate the community on ways to have a healthy heart, according to Beverly Kartheiser, coalition chair and health educator with Cobb-Douglas Public Health.
During the group’s quarterly meeting, Patricia Hatch from Youth Villages spoke about stress and heart health, including how to relax and reduce stress and its effects on the body.
Hatch posed the question, “How often do we stop and take a breath and take a few moments?”
“Society is face-paced,” she said, “and we know how stress affects the heart and every other system through the body,”
Hatch explained that some stress is actually healthy, but it is necessary to balance that.
Generally, it is a lack of noticing chronic stress and the things that trigger stress — of which individuals need to take heed, said Hatch.
As a yoga instructor and practitioner, Hatch has also been certified in Brain Gym, which is an educational model which focuses on learning styles and paces.
“In our society, we don’t move enough,” she stated. “We are in our cars, or at our desks.”
Hatch explained that when people are busy and not focusing on themselves they are breathing shallow and the brain is not functioning as well.
It is not getting enough oxygen.
She encourages people to drink more water, but explained that water stops being water when we add lemon or something such as Crystal Light.
“It becomes food,” said Hatch.
She recommends taking small sips of water throughout the day, so the body will take it all as hydration.
She recommends a part of Brain Gym called “The Seven-Minute Tune up,” which a person can do from wherever they are, at any time.
These activities include water intake, belly breathing, brain buttons, a breathing exercise called “hook-ups,” a brain-intergration movement, which cause the left brain and right brain to “talk” to each other; positive points and cross crawl.