Listen to Your Heart
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HEART If I were your (sweet) heart I would most likely be yearning for your attention right now. To make my point, I invite you to take this allegorical trek with me. Pretend that your heart - your one and only sweet heart that lives inside your chest - could actually talk to you. What would it have on its "mind" right now?

The heart of the problem
We treat our hearts like the wheels on a Daytona 500 racecar. But when it wears out we can't pull into the pitstop and snap on another one. We've only got one. Like other internal organs, we often ignore our hearts. We live our lives satisfying our desires, and forming habits that endanger the health of our heart, and our lives as well.

Unhealthy heart habits you can avoid
Now I speak to you from the heart (literally). You pretend you do not realize how your actions hurt me day by day. You neglect to exercise. Haven't you seen the volumes of scientific evidence that tell you how much I benefit from aerobic exercise?

Will you wait until you feel that burning in your chest, then you go for an aspirin? That might be too late. And how about all those chemical stimulants you subject me to every day? The caffeine in your coffee makes you feel good, but it makes me work harder. And the alcohol. That affects me too. Narcotic drugs... oh, those are even worse. You don't even go there.

From the first time you tried smoking, I knew you were not thinking about me. Don't you know that I suffer whenever your other organs are damaged. It's more difficult to pump blood through damaged lungs and clogged arteries. You are killing me. When will you cut down on your animal fat and cholesterol intake? You're killing me, and you need to realize this fact: When I die, so do you.

Help change the statistics - Exercise
Research is showing that approximately 1,200,000 "new and recurrent" coronary attacks occur per year. Don't you realize that heart disease (696,947) is the leading cause of deaths in America. And most of this could be prevented by regular physical exercise.

Compare this to the number of deaths from cancer (557,271), stroke (162,672), chronic lower respiratory diseases (124,816), accidents or unintentional injuries (106,742), and diabetes (73,249). And I (your heart) suffer whenever any of those other conditions happen as well... I die from strokes too (cry, cry, cry).

Tell me, can't you control your blood pressure and lose some weight? I don't want it to have to end like Nellie did. She grew up a beautiful young girl of normal weight. Then she became lax in her eating habits and did not exercise. For years I overworked myself pumping blood past body fat and through partially clogged arteries.

She thought about her weight and how she looked, but never about me. Her main concern was how she could fit into her favorite dress again. I couldn't take the neglect anymore. I attacked her one morning. She died at age 45.

Now, I don't want to have to fail you that way. I am your one and only sweet heart. I've been working for you from before you were born. I have been taking care of you even while you sleep. Take care of me, please. Won't you? 2021.