Be good to your heart with a healthful massage

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Your heart, arguably one of your body's most powerful muscles, will beat approximately 100,000 times today, pumping 2,000 gallons of blood through more than 60,000 miles of blood vessels - all without you giving it a single thought.

If there is a muscle overachiever award, I say it goes to the heart.

Yet, despite how hard our heart works for us, how often do we think about our heart health? The answer, according to statistics, is not nearly enough.

Cardiovascular disease is still the number one killer of both men and women in the U.S. In fact, one in every four deaths is attributed to the disease.

So what can we do to guard our heart? You're in luck, the answer is surprisingly simple! Subscribe to a heart healthy diet, manage body weight, get regular exercise, don't smoke.

You say you've heard this before?

Unfortunately, despite the wealth of information available to us regarding healthy heart habits, we struggle to treat our most prized possession as it deserves to be treated. Why? Because it's hard to pry ourselves away from our routine.

Adding anything new to our schedule (even if it's the hour workout we know we should do) always involves sacrifice. And that sacrifice has to be worth it, or we just won't stick with it.

What if, however, we could find a win-win solution where we actually look forward to the time spent and benefit both the heart and mind?

Enter massage. Studies have shown that massage can lower blood pressure, increase circulation, and lower stress, both physical and psychological.

Now, I'm not saying massage should be a substitute for exercise, but a compliment to it. And, to be fair, if your idea of treating your heart to a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T is a 5 a.m. soul-crushing workout with Hans (who you're quite sure invented mountain climbers just for you), we respect that.

But if you're looking for something a little more subtle to ease you into a healthier routine, reach out to a local massage therapist to find out how massage can help you guard your heart.

Oh, and we promise, no mountain climbers!

Holly Wright of Bluffton is a Reiki Master, reflexologist, NASM certified personal fitness trainer, and co-owner of Trinity TheraSpa in Moss Creek Village. trinitytheraspa.com

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