Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Guest Post Love from Katy

Katy Widrick blogs about fun, fitness, family, furballs and other F words at Healthy Living in a Hectic World. She's a full-time television producer, a part-time social media addict and the founder of the #Fitblog Chats on Twitter. In her free (ha!) time, she trains for triathlons, dances and does yoga.

About a year or so ago, I decided to share the story of my heart condition. While it's a big, ugly phrase -- Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) -- it's a pretty simple thing. You see, when I get really excited, stand up too fast or drink too much caffeine...my heart races. Now, for others, SVT can be extremely serious. I'm lucky in that mine is completely controlled by lifestyle changes, and I don't need medication. I go in for yearly stress tests to make sure the ol' ticker is, well, ticking. And not too fast, I might add. But those lifestyle changes are ones that not only make my heart stronger, they'll help the rest of my body, too. They include:
  • regular exercise
  • stress relief
  • limited caffeine
AND, there's one more thing I have to do. And after she reads what I'm about to post...Krysten may never let me anywhere near her blog again. When I feel my heart race, I have to squat down and clench my muscles like I'm having a bowel movement. I just said bowel on a blog. Wow. OK, so here's why I wanted to share my not-so-secret-anymore secret. That little move is not just a weird thing for my doctor to make me do. It actually tells my heart and all of my organs to chill the eff out. To go about their normal business, to reset and to return to normal. The first time I did it (in a busy grocery store aisle), I knew that the alternative was to risk passing out. WAY more embarrassing, right? So I crouched and clenched. And it worked, instantly. Not only that, the act made my entire body feel restored. It somehow sent a signal to my brain that it needed to focus one one thing -- setting my system straight. From what I understand, that same move can work wonders for others, regardless of heart condition. It's much like yoga, in which you focus your mind and muscles on one thing. Now, if you're too grossed out to crouch, maybe you can find a centering move of your own? Nobody needs to know what you're doing -- when I'm in action, it just looks like I'm bent down to tie my shoe (and yes, I have faked that when in public). Stand against a wall and close your eyes. Pinch the skin between your thumb and finger. Stand on one foot.

And when you're done doing that, make an appointment to get your annual physical done. Ask your doctor to pay special attention to your heart. If anything sounds funky, head to the cardiologist. Let's not lose any more women to heart disease.