8 Ways to Boost Other People’s Heart Health
The holiday season isn’t all about the brightly wrapped presents or the over-flowing stockings, it is a season about being near to others and sharing love with friends, family, and everyone you meet! To help others and share the love you can donate your time, money, and gifts to those in need. You can also make an impact by boosting the heart health of other people! Want to know how to warm hearts this holiday season and keep those blood-pumpers in tip-top shape? Here are 8 ways to boost other people’s heart health over Christmas (and year-round too!).
1. Donate Blood
Give a little bit of yourself this holiday season to help hearts in need … about 450 mL to be specific! Donating blood is a wonderful way to give back to others and work to improve the heart health of those in need. Every donation of blood can be used to help patients who need a little extra! It is said that one donation of blood can potentially help up to three different people. If your blood is not used for a patient, it may be used for testing, educational purposes, or other ways that will help improve the blood donation process! The Canadian Blood Services website reminds us that “It’s in you to give,” so let’s help the hearts of others by donating!
2. Be Kind
Many studies have proven that being kind to others results in reduced blood pressure, which will result in a protected heart. Think of the last time you were kind to someone (perhaps you bought a friend lunch, or donated to a great cause!), do you recall that warm fuzzy feeling inside? According to an article from Dartmouth College, this warm feeling is associated to the release of a hormone called oxytocin. Once oxytocin is released into our bodies, it “aids in lowering blood pressure and improving our overall heart health.” Being kind to others will help YOUR heart, and on the flip side, receiving kindness/love also will help OTHER PEOPLE’S hearts! When someone feels loved, their stress and anxiety decrease and the health of their heart is boosted significantly!
3. Donate an AED
A single gift can make a HUGE difference. If you are looking for a wonderful way to boost other people’s heart health this year, why not donate an AED? An AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) is a life-saving machine that can help someone suffering from a cardiac arrest (where the heart is not beating sporadically). What many do not realize is that cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, of any age, or any gender. It is for this reason that we need to work towards placing an AED in every home, business, building, community, and everywhere else! The more AEDs there are, the higher likelihood there is of someone receiving the medical attention they need to survive. By purchasing an AED and donating it to your child’s school, the neighbourhood community centre, your aging parent’s house, or maybe even your favourite coffee shop, you have just made a big impact on improving heart health for all!
4. Make Heart Health Meals
One of the easiest ways to boost the heart health of those around you is to feed them the ingredients they need to maintain a good heart! Whether you are hosting Christmas dinner this year, or are feeding your family each night – there are plenty of nutritious recipes out there that can replace carb, sugar, and fat-heavy foods. Include ingredients such as avocado, leafy greens, berries, walnuts, and so much more into your breakfast, lunch, and dinners! By simply making healthier meals you are giving yourself, your family, and those joining you the chance to create a positive impact upon their heart!
5. Increase AED Awareness
“Quick, get an AED!” If you were to hear someone say this to you at this very moment, would you know where to run to retrieve one of these life-saving+ devices? Although AEDs are not yet mandatory, taking the time to identify existing locations could be the difference between life and death! This year, help boost other people’s heart health by increasing AED awareness! Want to know how? First Edition created the #FindAnAED campaign to increase public safety by promoting AED awareness – and you can join! To participate, when you come across an AED, all you have to do is:
- Snap a selfie with the AED!
- Post to your social media page (public) with the hashtag #AEDFound!
- Check in to your location!
- Bonus: Tag @FirstEditionAED
By doing this you will increase AED awareness and share the many spots where these amazing defibrillators are located! The more we share, the better chance there is of saving a heart!
6. Get Outdoors
It is tempting to sit indoors watching movies, drinking holiday beverages, and eating too many sweets over the Christmas season. But this month, strive to improve your own heart health and others’ by resisting the urge to become a couch potato! Grab your friends and family members and plan outdoor activities to keep you moving and breathing in that fresh air. When we take action to participate in winter activities instead of Netflix binges, we encourage others to do the same. Make your coffee date a romantic walk through the Christmas lights, transform your family movie night into a sledding adventure under the stars… simply get outdoors to boost your own and other people’s heart health!
7. Become an Organ Donor
If you are an organ donor, once you die, your organs could save up to 50 people’s lives! That is a lot of lives saved! We understand if the thought and discussion of death makes you uncomfortable, but the fact of the matter is… we are all eventually going to pass on. Why not strive to make a final lasting impact in the world by giving parts of yourself to those in need (besides, you won’t be needing them anymore!). So many individuals living with congenital heart disease and other heart defects are on a seemingly never-ending waiting list for a heart donation. Becoming an organ donor could mean that someone, somewhere receives your heart and is able to live a long and healthy life. Talk about the ultimate gift! Become an organ donor and when it is your time to “kick the bucket” be excited that you made a difference to others’ heart health!
We recently featured an organization whose sole purpose is to help with transplants for people in need – check them out for more ways to help (before you die)!
8. Take a First Aid Course
Did you know that CPR can save lives? Sure, you did! First aid courses are wonderful experiences that teach you hands-on skills that will help you save lives. Want to boost the heart health of those around you this year? Take a first aid course and learn how to save hearts! In a first aid course you will learn how to treat open wounds, help someone having a stroke, what to do with broken bones, respiratory emergencies, and… heart emergencies! At First Edition First Aid Training Inc. we will also share with you how to properly perform CPR, how to use an AED (and let you try it out!), and how to help other hearts!
Use these different methods to keep hearts warm all winter long and know that you are making a positive impact on others! Strive for excellent heart health for yourself and those around you, and get the most out of a long and wholesome life!
Want to discover more ways that you will help to improve your own heart? We have the answer!