We have all heard stories about long-married couples who die within days of each other. Maybe it’s a broken heart, or maybe it’s OK to go because your spouse doesn’t need you anymore. Who knows, really? I think we do know that there is a definite relationship between emotional heart health and physical heart health. And this is what we are looking at in the February issue of My Generation.
According to Sheila Pinette, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control, Maine baby boomers are doing OK right now. We are, in fact, a little bit healthier than the generation before us. But, we are fat. Obesity is the biggest concern for our heart health, which has an impact on all the other factors, like blood pressure and cholesterol. It’s easy to say that we really just need to eat less and move more – but that’s it. Portion control, reasonably good diets (think balance and moderation) and exercise – every day – is the key to our physical heart health. Such a simple recipe, but so hard to serve up to a bunch of sedentary, overweight Mainers who are destined toward heart disease. (I include myself in this group – my “gym bag” has been sitting untouched in my car for the last three days, and last night for dinner I had figs spread with a wonderful Saga Blue cheese, while I sat on the couch and exercised only my brain by playing “Words with Friends.”)
Love, along with other emotional health factors, also has a big impact on our heart health. According to an article posted on Psychologies magazine’s website (http://www.psychologies.co.uk/self/the-link-between-emotions-and-health.html), “Expressing the affectionate feelings you have towards your partner lowers cholesterol levels. A study reported in the journal Human Communication Research showed that when people spent three 20-minute sessions per week writing about loved ones, their cholesterol count fell within five weeks.”
In this issue of My Generation, our writer Larry Grard will introduce you to two couples who have made their life journey together and are still in love. Just reading these stories has improved my heart health, I think. I hope you enjoy them, too.
Best wishes for a healthy heart – in all aspects in 2014. Thanks for reading.
Lee Hews, Publisher