Tips for a Healthy Vascular System
By: Angela Viesti
The vascular system, also known as the circulatory system and the cardiovascular system, regulates many of our bodies’ functions and interacts with our endocannabinoid system via the CB1 receptors. The basic functions of these systems are delivering fresh, oxygenated blood throughout the body, cleansing the body of waste via the lymph nodes and the lymphatic system, and maintaining homeostasis by regulating temperature, digestion, and respiratory function, among many other vital processes.
Maintaining healthy habits and a health-conscious lifestyle are essential to proper cardiovascular function. Even if you’re free from serious illness, making your health a priority now can lead to significant improvements in your physical and mental health. This may seem overwhelming, but I assure you that making small, intentional changes can lead to improved heart health and overall wellbeing.
Start with the Breath
The circulatory system is responsible for pumping blood through the heart and lungs, allowing for the release of carbon dioxide as the oxygenated blood makes its way throughout the body. This is why it’s important and quite beneficial to make a conscious effort to breathe and breathe deeply. Not only does deep breathing help to bring in the oxygen necessary to support vital functions, but it's also known to reduce stress, which in turn lowers blood pressure.
Experiment with these techniques to make deep breathing a part of your daily life:
Try the equal breathing method -- inhale through the nose for a count of 4 seconds, and exhale through the mouth for the same length of time. Increase to 8 seconds as your lungs become accustomed to deep breathing.
Begin a yoga or meditation practice -- I’ve mentioned Yoga with Adrienne on the blog before and I stand by this incredible online resource. Check out this playlist of YouTube videos that she curated for Winding Down.
Yoga is a wonderful form of movement and emphasizes the relationship between the physical practice and breathing with cues. Another great way to utilize free resources is the vast assortment of meditation channels on YouTube. Here’s one that I enjoy, but I encourage you to explore what’s available to find what truly works for you. Some people prefer guided meditations when they are just beginning a meditation practice and are even drawn to certain voices over others, particularly voices that are similar in tone to their own voices
Focus on breathing during your workout routine -- it’s essential to breathe properly when exercising if you want to improve your stamina and performance, especially while walking and doing cardio. Personally, if I deter from inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth while running, I tend to lose my breath which can lead to shorter distances and even cramping. Shifting focus from seeking external physical results to seeking improved health will change the energy you bring to your workouts--give it a try!
Move, and Improve your Health
I mentioned the importance of breathing while exercising above, but that’s not the only reason maintaining a movement routine is essential. Stagnant water is known to breed bacteria and host virus-spreading organisms, so it’s no wonder a stagnant body is prone to higher rates of disease and even death.
Recent guidelines from the US Department of Health and Human services emphasize the impact that movement has on overall health, including blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, sleep, and mood--all of which impact heart health. The good news for folks who are inactive is that just 20-25 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise per day, or 150 minutes per week, can have significant positive impacts on health. Make it a point to get up for a quick walk or a gentle stretch when sitting at a desk or on an airplane for long periods of time.
What’s fascinating about the benefits of physical activity is that the mindset one has about the activities they’re doing greatly impacts the external results thanks to the placebo effect. A study conducted by Harvard researcher Ellen Langer showed that hotel maids who were told that their job responsibilities counted as exercise showed decreased weight, blood pressure, and waist-to-hip ratio. That said, it’s worth adopting a new perspective on your daily activities and making your inner voice one of encouragement and optimism when it comes to your wellbeing and day-to-day responsibilities. Check out this TED Talk explaining the placebo effect and the ways in which we can harness this to our advantage.
Be Empowered to Change your Life(style)
A lot of our daily habits related to diet, exercise, sleep, and stress management impact our long term health. Smoking tobacco, drinking alcohol, living a stagnant lifestyle, and eating unhealthy, processed foods with low nutrient content all have negative effects on health that increase as we age. Luckily, we have the power to make the changes necessary to shift all of these areas.
When changing our diets, awareness is the first step to progress. Read ingredient labels, eat more home cooked meals, experiment with new produce and herbs, and cut out sugary drinks and artificial sweeteners, like the ones found in diet sodas, to begin this process. As you begin to feel the difference these simple shifts make, you’ll become empowered to make other changes in other areas of your life.
A great tool to use to improve your sleep and stress management is every Kush Queen’s favorite flower: cannabis. Choose strains high in cannabinoids like CBD (cannabidiol) and CBN (cannabinol), and with a terpene profile containing linalool and caryophyllene. Experiment with alternative ingestion methods, like bath bombs and topicals. Our selection of Kush Queen bath bombs, transdermal shower gel, and transdermal topicals offer fantastic relief from pain, stress, and insomnia. Choose your own adventure and browse our online shop for water-based intimate lube, full-spectrum CBD tinctures, and gummies (great for CBD mocktails and rapid anxiety relief).
Health Begins Within
I hope this article empowers you to make good choices to improve your health and longevity. If you’re in need of support in this process, I invite you to reach out to on Instagram at @angela.viesti or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share this with someone you love and spread the word about how simple it is to take control of your health!
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