Publisher's Letter for February 2020Jan 29, 2020 11:00AM ● By Marilee Burrell
It’s February, and many of us have love on our minds. So this month, in addition to Valentine’s Day, we at Natural Awakenings turn our attention to the heart, which makes living—and loving—possible.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one cause of death in the United States. Our body’s vast network of veins, arteries and capillaries can become brittle and clogged over time, leading to heart attacks, strokes, vision loss and cognitive decline. The good news is that 85 percent of CVD is attributed to lifestyle, which means that there’s plenty we can do to protect ourselves. We all know the main recommendations for heart health: eat more plants, stress less and move more. But sometimes we need motivation to do those things. Learning your risk for CVD is important, because test numbers can motivate you to make the sometimes-drastic lifestyle changes needed to add healthy years, or even decades, to your life. Please read “Sacred Vessels: The Lifeblood of Heart Health,” page 24, for the latest information and what to do.
It turns out that aerobic exercise is one of the best ways to keep the body’s thousands of miles of blood vessels supple. Aerobic exercise produces nitric oxide, and nitric oxides make arteries flexible. That’s reason enough to get or keep the workouts going. Read more in “Vital Steps: The Path to Vascular Fitness,” page 40.
It did my heart good to read Scarlett Lewis’s article, “How to Cope with Fearful Times.” After Scarlett’s young son Jesse lost his life in the Sandy Hook shooting, she founded a nonprofit, the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, to ensure that every child has access to social and emotional education and support. Scarlett is proof that we can choose a thoughtful, life-affirming response to any situation, and she has created a movement around this truth. Simply put, our minds can think only one thought at a time, and by choosing to think love, we crowd out fear and anxiety in that moment. By modeling this behavior, Scarlett says, we teach it to our youngsters and take back our power to live lives full of love-filled moments. Don’t miss her transformative article, page 36.
To love and good health!