A Happy Heart is a Lovely Heart

A Happy Heart is a Lovely Heart

Art is powerful. It has the power to inspire, delight, uplift, and encourage. But, much like an infomercial, that isn't all!!! Did you know that art even has the opportunity to boost your heart health and help you stay in shape? Whaaaa? Yes! Well, it takes some customization to your thoughts about art, but simple things like incorporating art into your fitness routine can feed your creative soul at the same time as getting your heart pumping. You might be thinking "but how can looking at paintings, sculptures, or even digital art help my heart health?" The answer lies in the epic combination of art and movement. For example, a leisurely stroll through an art gallery, museum, or even a local park can push your heart rate up while allowing you to appreciate your surroundings, which, with intention, can include art!

happy heart health diagram

Appreciating Art… for the Heart!

When it comes to heart health, everyone can use some help. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death, so anything that can reduce that risk is a win. Now, you might be thinking, “but how can art help me with that?”

Engaging with art in any capacity has proven to reduce blood pressure, eliminate stress, and provide relief for people all over the world. Whether you’re creating art or just taking it in, mental and physical benefits are just a canvas away. According to a study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, participants who spent time in an art gallery showed a significant decrease in cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress. Another study found that art therapy helped to reduce symptoms of anxiety in breast cancer patients undergoing treatment. Art helps us enter a state of mindfulness and relaxation, which is very helpful in reducing stress and anxiety.

Improving Mood and Mental Health

In another study, published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, participants who had art in their lives reported feeling more positive emotions and increased life satisfaction. Art therapy has been proven to be an effective treatment for depression. There is a reason that many chemotherapy facilities utilize guided art practice to engage with patients. It helps! The emotional connection to expression and creativity is opened up by art of all types.

If you’ve not been to a gallery or a park with an open art installation, you may not realize the social and community benefits to hangin’ around art as well. Many studies have found that social interaction increases dopamine production in the brain, which means that just being near art is good for the heart, rhyme intended. 

Engaging with other people around art builds stronger connections, relationships, and sense of belonging. 

Your Daily Routine

Incorporating physical activity into our daily routines is essential for maintaining good heart health. For many, though, exercise can feel like a chore. Fortunately, there are ways to combine art appreciation and fitness, making exercise fun, engaging, and heart-healthy!

One way to combine art appreciation and fitness is by walking through art galleries and museums. Interestingly enough, many museums and galleries offer free admission or discounted rates on certain days, making it accessible to nearly everyone. Strolling through buildings whilst perusing the art contained within is exercise. So, it’s a true double dip. Enjoy the art, benefit the heart. There’s a trend here. 

To maximize your daily routine, plan out which museums, galleries, or gardens make sense for your schedule and location, and drop those locations into Google Maps (no affiliation, just the best service for it). If you live in a cool city, these types of things are typically close together, so your entire journey can be great for your heart, not just the time directly in front of the art. Of course, if you’re really looking to ramp things up, you can always take the stairs when available, or take the longer route, adding steps. 

You’ll find it easy to reach 10,000 steps in any day that includes a few museums, galleries, or gardens. 

Parks and Yoga, Too

Do your best to not leave parks out of this flow. Parks have some of the greatest scenery in any place, anywhere. As you walk around these wonderful civic playgrounds, keep in mind that many have fountains, sculptures, and much more. Many parks install amazing things to improve the experience. Take advantage! 

There are other fitness activities that have an artistic flow. Yoga and meditation classes with an artistic ambiance, such as in a studio with beautiful murals or sculptures, can provide both physical and mental benefits. Outdoor art installations that incorporate movement, such as interactive sculptures that require physical activity, can be a fun and unique way to combine art appreciation and fitness.

March 06, 2023 by Craig Brooks
15 Fantastic Quotes from Mitch Albom

15 Fantastic Quotes from Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom is one of the most successful American authors of the modern era. His work inspires, guides, and drops wisdom on folks throughout the world. You may have even encountered his work without realizing it. As a best-selling author many times over, successful journalist, and playwright, he's captured the hearts and minds of readers everywhere with insightful musings and powerful words on life, love, friendship, and the human experience. His book "Tuesdays with Morrie" is one of the most successful pieces of American literature of the 20th century. Mitch's quotes have resonated with folks of all ages and backgrounds, pushing people to enjoy life more, love deeply, and appreciate the beauty of the world around them. If you've heard of Mitch Albom's work already, that's fantastic, you'll likely enjoy this revisit. If not, grab a cup of tea or whatever gets you comfy and get ready to enjoy 15 of the most impactful Mitch Albom quotes in existence.

7 Mitch Albom Quotes about Life

The quotes you'll read now are all about life, exploring not just living, but death as well, because, ultimately, we all do leave this place for another journey. Mitch always encourages his readers to find meaning in their lives by devoting themselves to loving others and participating in their community. His reflections on death aren't macabre, they inspire. These quotes are sure to offer insight and perspective, but most importantly, they shine a light on cherishing relationships with those around us and understanding that all lives intersect in beautiful ways. “What is it about childhood that never lets you go, even when you're so wrecked it's hard to believe you ever were a child” "Death ends a life, not a relationship" "Death doesn't just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed" "Life is a series of pulls back and forth... A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band" "The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in…Let it come in" “Everyone knows they are going to die, but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently.” (drop Believe it Graphic) "The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live"

5 of Mitch Albom’s Quotes About Love

Love is powerful. Love is capable. Love is inspiring. In the hands of Mitch Albom, love emphasizes the connections between us all and pushes readers to cherish relationships eternally. Mitch pontificates on the varieties of love, such as the purest form, found only in a mother's eyes, but also the selflessness that comes from feeling love truly. Taking complex emotions and repurposing them in simple, yet impactful language is something that Mitch Albom does so well that the following 5 quotes don't encapsulate all of his artistry, but show a peek into Mitch's journey in helping us to embrace love and push against that hesitation. "When you look into your mother's eyes, you know that is the purest love you can find on this earth" "Lost love is still love…It takes a different form, that's all" "People say they 'find' love, as if it were an object hidden by a rock" "Love always wins" "Love is when you are as concerned about someone else's situation as you are about your own"

3 Amazing Mitch Albom Quotes about Friendship

Humans are wired to be social creatures, which means there are few things more important than the connections we make with others. From life and love to friendship, our well-being and happiness is intimately entwined with the people we surround ourselves with. Friends can be chosen family members, depending on how open you are to that depth of relationship. Mitch's gift for capturing the essence of being a human shines brightest as he verbalizes some of the most eloquent musings on friendship. Cultivating friendships is not an easy task, but one that has everlasting effects. "If you find one true friend in life, you're richer than most. If that one true friend is your husband, you're blessed" "Same for loneliness: you let go, let the tears flow, feel it completely--but eventually be able to say, 'All right, that was my moment of loneliness'" "if you find one true friend in your life, you're richer than most. If that one true friend is your husband, you're blessed" Sometimes, all it takes to change a day is a great quote from an insightful author. Mitch Albom continues to shine a light on everything it means to be a person. The quotes above travel across life, love, and friendship; masterfully crafted by a true artist. Mitch has a way of distilling life's most profound truths into simple, elegant phrases that simply hit. It feels appropriate to sneak a 16th quote in... "The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in." May you find love and friendship on your journey through life and let art be a constant reminder of that beauty. 

mitch albom quote believe it
March 06, 2023 by Craig Brooks
Tags: mitch albom
Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee

Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee

The famous quote "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" is a phrase that has become synonymous with the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. Originating from Ali's description of his fighting style, this quote has become a cultural touchstone and one of the most recognizable quotes in popular culture. Its impact can still be seen and felt today, decades after Ali's rise to fame. Let’s dive into the origin, interpretation, cultural significance, and ongoing relevance of the quote!

Where the Famous Quote Came From

Back in the 1960s and 70s, Muhammad Ali was a pop culture and sports icon due to revolutionizing the sport of boxing and becoming one of the most recognizable figures in the world. Prior to a championship bout with Sonny Liston, he uttered the famous phrase and the rest, as they say, is history. Ali was known for his quick and graceful movements in the ring, as well as his powerful punches. He used the quote to describe his unique fighting style and to set himself apart from other boxers.

By emphasizing his ability to move gracefully in the ring, while still delivering punishing blows to his opponents, he was able to convey that his style was not just about brute strength, but also about agility, coordination, and strategic thinking. The Metaphor “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” is often received as a metaphor for the beautiful pairing of grace and power. The "float like a butterfly" part of the phrase represents the grace and agility of the boxer, while the "sting like a bee" part represents the power and impact of their punches. This metaphor perfectly captures Ali's fighting style and the balance between finesse and force that he brought to the ring. Compared to other boxers of his era (and many debate across generations), his style was unique and devastatingly effective, with some sports historians crowning him as the greatest boxer of all time.

The Cultural Significance

Muhammad Ali was more than just a boxer, he was also a political and social activist. He used his platform and celebrity status to speak out on issues of racial and social justice. As a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War, he was widely recognized as a symbol of resistance and change. Athletes in various sports have used the quote to describe their own unique styles and to pay homage to Ali's legacy. It has also been used in the business world to describe a delicate yet effective approach to problem-solving. The cultural impact of Muhammad Ali and the quote "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" can be seen in popular music, movies, and media. Ali's life and career have been the subject of numerous biographies, documentaries, and feature films.

The quote has been referenced in songs, TV shows, and advertisements, further solidifying its place in popular culture. The Legacy and Relevance Today Over the years, the quote "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" has remained popular and relevant, reflecting Muhammad Ali's lasting impact on the world of sports and beyond. The quote continues to inspire athletes, entrepreneurs, and anyone seeking to strike a balance between grace and power in their own lives.

Ali's impact on the world of sports and beyond will continues to inspire future generations. His story serves as a reminder of the power of determination, perseverance, and standing up for what is right, even in the face of adversity. He will always be remembered as one of the greatest boxers of all time, as well as a trailblazer who used his platform to bring attention to important social and political issues. The quote "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee" perfectly captures the essence of Muhammad Ali's fighting style and has become a symbol of his life and legacy. That impact inspired this piece, Bee.

February 19, 2023 by Craig Brooks