A healthy heart
Charles Dickens offered this advice on boosting emotional, physical and social health:
“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.”
Heart health research
Kaitlin Freeberg, PhD student in integrative physiology, notes that the Integrative Physiology of Aging Laboratory at CU Boulder investigates the biological mechanisms mediating age-related declines in physiological function and how this may be reduced through healthy lifestyle interventions.
The lab focuses on cardiovascular aging, which can include changes to the structure and function of blood vessels, and potentially cause additional stress on our hearts.
Interventions the lab studies focus on improving cardiovascular health to extend the healthy period of life (“healthspan”) and delay the development of cardiovascular diseases.
Céline Vetter, assistant professor of integrative physiology notes that adequate sleep plays a pivotal role in heart health, a fact now recognized by the American Heart Association. Adults should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
But sleep is more than just duration. Good-quality sleep is most powerful when improving heart health. Recent evidence also highlights the role of regular sleep schedules. That means aiming for a regular bed- and wake time may be able to further support your health. However, make sure that this regular schedule allows for enough sleep, particularly for those who work shifts.
We have demonstrated that shift work increases your risk of heart disease, especially when it includes night shifts. One reason shift work may boost the risk of heart disease is that is, indeed, disrupting your sleep. In our laboratory, we study how exactly shift work and work hours disrupts sleep and our circadian rhythms, and health, and we design counter-measures to address these challenges that affect a wide percentage of our population.
With so much going on, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what we need or what our priorities should be. Here you can find a few steps to help you get started.
The Student Emergency Fund was created to provide support for CU Boulder students who are experiencing a crisis that could adversely affect their semester. The intent of the funding is to support students experiencing a temporary financial hardship as a result of COVID-19.
The spring semester has officially begun, but it still feels like winter outside. Here are 3 things you can do to make it through the last few winter months.
Spring Wellness Day
Get heart-centered with the Quick Coherence Technique from HeartMath®. This technique can be done anytime, anywhere and helps you stay centered and in flow as your prepare for and navigate your day!
Step 1: Focus your attention in the area of the heart. Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area, breathing a little slower and deeper than usual.
Suggestion: Inhale 5 seconds, exhale 5 seconds (or whatever rhythm is comfortable).
Step 2: Make a sincere attempt to experience a regenerative feeling such as appreciation or care for someone or something in your life.
Suggestion: Try to re-experience the feeling you have for someone you love, a pet, a special place, an accomplishment, or focus on a feeling of calm or ease.
Additional Be Well Tips can be found here:
Feeling stressed or overwhelmed?
Promoting healthy lifestyles is a key value of the College of Arts and Sciences. We support and share opportunities for our students and employees to understand and implement ways to increase personal wellness in their lives.