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Written By Dr. Greg Pursley on November 19, 2020


According to a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, the average American gains 7 to 10 pounds from Thanksgivng to Christmas.

This is a problem for muliple reasons, but the most alarming is the amount of stress it can put on your heart. During the winter we tend to eat more and move less, which leads to increased weight gain and more stress on the heart.

So what is the second heart, and how can it help? The muscles in your legs are your second heart. Let me explain. Your heart pumps blood to your body through the arteries, and the blood returns to the heart through the veins. Your arteries have muscle in them to help push the blood to your body, but the veins don't. This means the blood is more likely to pool in the veins especially where gravity is working against you, which is in the lower half of the body. When the muscles in the legs are fired, it helps push the blood back to the heart.

So give your heart a rest my moving more and using your legs. Do simple things like extending your legs while sitting, doing squats or starting a daily stretching routine.

If you work in a more sedentary job, take a 15-minute walk during your lunch break. Parking in the spot furthest from your office can also help you put more motion into your daily routine.

At home, you can discipline yourself to move more by committing to walk while you're talking on the phone or to get up and sit back down periodically while scrolling through Facebook. Since its the holidays, why not break out into an impromptu dance party to some upbeat Christmas music? Dance around the house - kids or no kids - it can be fun.

Enjoy the upcoming holiday season and use the muscles of the legs more to help your second heart pump blood throughout the body!

Posted In: It's Your Life, Live It Well!