Why summer is the time to avoid heart attacks in winter
In Chinese medicine, each of our major organs is associated with a season. If we mistreat the organ during its season, it’ll give us problems 6 months later. The heart’s season is summer, and most heart attacks occur in winter.
Until we find out what those who had heart attacks in winter were doing the previous summer, we’ll rely on the theory and prioritise our heart health this month.
The first three items on the healthy heart list are what you might expect. The fourth may be a surprise but is backed by good science.
1. Stop smoking
We all know that stopping smoking is a good idea, so I won’t harp on about it here.
According to the British Heart Foundation, our hearts need 150 minutes of exercise a week. A brisk 30-minute walk, 5 days a week should do the trick. Along with cardiovascular exercise, Chinese medicine advocates Tai Chi Qigong exercises that focus on the Heart network, like the ones in our Qigong & the 5 Elements: Fire (Summer) workshop.
3. Eat like you’re in Spain
Heart UK reckons a Mediterranean diet keeps cholesterol down and the heart healthy. Chinese medicine agrees, recommending the same dietary principles for good all-round health.
4. Love gently, quietly and deeply
Enduring love is really, really good for your heart. In Chinese medicine, the Heart is thrown into chaos by the excitement of hot passion, but restored by the gentle, quiet joy that comes from enduring love. The West is recognising the connection too: One study showed that men are more likely to have heart attacks if they're cheating on their wife, while another study showed that people who suffer heart attacks are 3 times more likely to be alive 15 years later if they have a happy marriage.
So, look after your heart this summer by ditching the fags and going for a walk with your best mate (whilst eating an oily fish, I suppose).