Cathy Austin February’21

A Blast From The Past Still Relevant Today

By Cathy Austin

It’s 2021, but remember this fabulous 1965 song:
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of
What the world needs now is love, sweet love
No not just for some, but for everyone… sung by Jackie DeShannon

It’s February, a month long celebrated for being Heart Month. Yes! It’s a tradition that’s over half a century strong. The first proclamation was issued by President Lyndon B. Johnson in February 1964, nine years after he had a heart attack. Since then, the President has annually declared February (American) Heart Month. Heart disease affects approximately 2.4 million Canadian adults, and according to Google it is the second leading cause of death.

Let’s get into the spirit of love, here’s a few tips to love your heart this month:
Wear Red. On the 13th, pull on something red – mitts, a toque, a sweater, or sweats! Pump it up!

This is a yearly tradition and one that needs to reach more Canadians every year. Let’s do it! Go to this website and check it out:

Exercise. Health Canada says that brisk walking, running, swimming, cycling, playing tennis, and jumping rope are great ways to get your heart in shape. Heart-pumping aerobic exercise is the kind that doctors have in mind when they recommend at least 150 minutes per week of moderate activity. Sure, we’re in a pandemic and varying degrees of lockdown across our province and country, but you can still go out for a brisk walk around the block, on your balcony (back and forth), in your own driveway (I do 20 laps every other day in my driveway), in your local parkette, park, or on top of the Buffs.
Foods to feed your Heart. Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, and collard greens are well-known for their wealth of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Other heart-healthy foods include whole grains, berries, avocados, fatty fish and fish oil, walnuts, beans, and yummiest of all – dark chocolate! These are just a few, but the more we add into our daily lives, the better we’ll feel and the more well we’ll be!

Winter Blues are not good for the heart, so a nice fix is get outside for a bit each day, take a walk, or just step outside your door. Inhale, exhale, and chill. Be grateful for each sunrise, that’s good for the ol’ heart muscle. A lot of folks suffer from SAD, and one of the simplest things you can do to help is shift chairs and furniture around closer to the window. That will be good for a sunnier outlook and vitamin D!

Jamie Oliver. Sure, this is also about food, but leafing through this celebrated food personality’s 15 Minute Meals works for me. I love his easy ingredients, time allotment, tips and tricks, and the results are delicious! Plus, he’s fun to read and down to earth.

Reading is always good for your heart, and if you happen upon something you truly love and makes you all warm and fuzzy, so much the better. Try our local iconic Doris McCarthy’s book, My Life written with Charis Wahl, 2006. I read this before Christmas, and it delighted me to no end. What a full and rich life! We all know of her, but there were many fascinating and joyous things in this book I didn’t know. Her passage from the Sanskrit at the book’s beginning is a joy: “Look to this day/For it is life, the very life of life.” Doris grabbed the best of life and infused it into her paintings and many other talents. Her heart was strong and she lived into her late 90’s!

So get your heart pumping this month, you’ll welcome the love and wellness! Keep smiling.