Archive for the ‘Heart Health’ Category

Happy Valentines Day

February 14, 2008

Today it is all about the heart.

Beating Heart
(The producer of this video disabled embedding, so you have to go to the link, but it shows how to make an origami beating heart. 3 minutes)

It is, after all Valentine’s Day. And whether you are single and loving it, or single and looking, or partnered or married or whatever’d, take care of your heart and the heart(s) of those you love.

But it all comes down to this. You have to take care of your own heart. Often that means losing weight. And like the mayor of Oklahoma City believes and Kathleen Parker writes, “real, sustained weight loss takes patience, discipline and commitment, not a calculator.”

We can justify anything we want today, like dark chocolate containing anti-oxidants or red wine being good for you. So go out and eat a nice, satisfying Valentine’s Day dinner. Enjoy the box of chocolates. But today is just one day of the year, and your heart needs to pump 366 days (it is leap year, after all).

This video is a real beating heart…so don’t watch if you don’t like that kind of stuff.

According to CDC data heart disease is still the number one killer in America. And everyone of us…everyone…can do something to reduce our risk of heart disease. This is from the final data for 2004.

Number of deaths for leading causes of death:
Heart disease: 652,486
Cancer: 553,888
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 150,074
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 121,987
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 112,012
Diabetes: 73,138
Alzheimer’s disease: 65,965
Influenza/Pneumonia: 59,664
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 42,480
Septicemia: 33,373

U. S. News and World Report had a section on heart disease and cholesterol and statins this week, and I am borrowing this information from an ad (Quaker Oats) in that section.

Be Heart Smart

This simple checklist shows you what you can do today to prevent heart disease.

  • Be Pressured Know your blood pressure – high pressure will age your arteries. Keeping it around 115/76 can make your body up to 10 years younger.
  • Floss & Brush Periodontal disease, such as gingivits, affects more than the gums. Chronic infections require the body to defend itself and inclrease clotting to protect against bleeding – a recipe for heart attack.
  • Move it Walking 30 minutes each day can add years to your life – regular movement is a powerful anti-aging treatment.
  • Easy takes it An aspirin each day greatly reduces your risk of a stroke.
  • Get some shut eye Try for seven hours of zzz’s each night.
  • Dish up fish Three times a week, dine on omego-3s to help your heart and arteries function, plus fish protein that packs an additional cardiovacular boost. Not nuts about seafood? Walnuts shell out a good dose of omega-3s.
  • Skip the smoking section An hour of second hand smoke can cause the same body aging as smoking up to four cigarettes.
  • Turn off the TV When you pay attention to what you eat, you enjoy it more and you’re likely to sense when you’re full – before you’ve eaten too much.

I come from a family with a history of heart disease and my father had three heart attacks (and just kept on smoking) before finally dying of respiratory disease (caused of course by that smoking). That puts me at some degree of risk.

When I was younger I ran. And ran and ran. Not Forrest Gump type of running, but 6 or 7 miles a day several days a week. I had a running hero, Dr. Jim Fixx, author of The Complete Book of Running. When I graduated from college (the second time ) in 1981, and got a job, my running was reduced by a good bit, but I didn’t quit altogether. But imagine my shock when my running hero collapsed and fell dead of a heart attack at age 52 after a run.

Fast forward 25 years and here I am. I’ve made it past Jim Fixx’s age of death and feel pretty good about my heart. I am like the OK City mayor though, and have just a few more pounds to lose…the hardest ones.

I will tell you a couple of things I do. I park in a parking garage, usually on level 4 (not by choice) and take the stairs down and when I return, I take the stairs up. The walk to class is up a hill and down a hill, 2 blocks. Once in the building, my classes are on the 4th floor. I take the stairs.

I have cut down on sugared drinks. Not completely, but cut back to less than half of what I used to drink. I eat a hand full of nuts every day. I’m working on adding more fruits and vegetables. My blood pressure is great. My cholesterol is borderline, and by George I am going to get it within desired range by exercise and diet (I have been on Crestor and don’t like it).

I enjoy good food, though, and I don’t deny myself, but I now cook a little more healthy than I did 10 years ago.

So, there are things everyone can do. Walking is a good start. One flight of stairs at work is a good start (take the rest by elevator). Then in 2 weeks, take 2 flights of stairs. Whatever you do, start out easy and work your way up. You will feel better, and you will live better.

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>Happy Valentines Day

February 14, 2008

>Today it is all about the heart.

Beating Heart
(The producer of this video disabled embedding, so you have to go to the link, but it shows how to make an origami beating heart. 3 minutes)

It is, after all Valentine’s Day. And whether you are single and loving it, or single and looking, or partnered or married or whatever’d, take care of your heart and the heart(s) of those you love.

But it all comes down to this. You have to take care of your own heart. Often that means losing weight. And like the mayor of Oklahoma City believes and Kathleen Parker writes, “real, sustained weight loss takes patience, discipline and commitment, not a calculator.”

We can justify anything we want today, like dark chocolate containing anti-oxidants or red wine being good for you. So go out and eat a nice, satisfying Valentine’s Day dinner. Enjoy the box of chocolates. But today is just one day of the year, and your heart needs to pump 366 days (it is leap year, after all).

This video is a real beating heart…so don’t watch if you don’t like that kind of stuff.

According to CDC data heart disease is still the number one killer in America. And everyone of us…everyone…can do something to reduce our risk of heart disease. This is from the final data for 2004.

Number of deaths for leading causes of death:
Heart disease: 652,486
Cancer: 553,888
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 150,074
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 121,987
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 112,012
Diabetes: 73,138
Alzheimer’s disease: 65,965
Influenza/Pneumonia: 59,664
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 42,480
Septicemia: 33,373

U. S. News and World Report had a section on heart disease and cholesterol and statins this week, and I am borrowing this information from an ad (Quaker Oats) in that section.

Be Heart Smart

This simple checklist shows you what you can do today to prevent heart disease.

  • Be Pressured Know your blood pressure – high pressure will age your arteries. Keeping it around 115/76 can make your body up to 10 years younger.
  • Floss & Brush Periodontal disease, such as gingivits, affects more than the gums. Chronic infections require the body to defend itself and inclrease clotting to protect against bleeding – a recipe for heart attack.
  • Move it Walking 30 minutes each day can add years to your life – regular movement is a powerful anti-aging treatment.
  • Easy takes it An aspirin each day greatly reduces your risk of a stroke.
  • Get some shut eye Try for seven hours of zzz’s each night.
  • Dish up fish Three times a week, dine on omego-3s to help your heart and arteries function, plus fish protein that packs an additional cardiovacular boost. Not nuts about seafood? Walnuts shell out a good dose of omega-3s.
  • Skip the smoking section An hour of second hand smoke can cause the same body aging as smoking up to four cigarettes.
  • Turn off the TV When you pay attention to what you eat, you enjoy it more and you’re likely to sense when you’re full – before you’ve eaten too much.

I come from a family with a history of heart disease and my father had three heart attacks (and just kept on smoking) before finally dying of respiratory disease (caused of course by that smoking). That puts me at some degree of risk.

When I was younger I ran. And ran and ran. Not Forrest Gump type of running, but 6 or 7 miles a day several days a week. I had a running hero, Dr. Jim Fixx, author of The Complete Book of Running. When I graduated from college (the second time ) in 1981, and got a job, my running was reduced by a good bit, but I didn’t quit altogether. But imagine my shock when my running hero collapsed and fell dead of a heart attack at age 52 after a run.

Fast forward 25 years and here I am. I’ve made it past Jim Fixx’s age of death and feel pretty good about my heart. I am like the OK City mayor though, and have just a few more pounds to lose…the hardest ones.

I will tell you a couple of things I do. I park in a parking garage, usually on level 4 (not by choice) and take the stairs down and when I return, I take the stairs up. The walk to class is up a hill and down a hill, 2 blocks. Once in the building, my classes are on the 4th floor. I take the stairs.

I have cut down on sugared drinks. Not completely, but cut back to less than half of what I used to drink. I eat a hand full of nuts every day. I’m working on adding more fruits and vegetables. My blood pressure is great. My cholesterol is borderline, and by George I am going to get it within desired range by exercise and diet (I have been on Crestor and don’t like it).

I enjoy good food, though, and I don’t deny myself, but I now cook a little more healthy than I did 10 years ago.

So, there are things everyone can do. Walking is a good start. One flight of stairs at work is a good start (take the rest by elevator). Then in 2 weeks, take 2 flights of stairs. Whatever you do, start out easy and work your way up. You will feel better, and you will live better.

Baptists and Blogging and Unhealthy Christmas Parties

December 4, 2007

Wheeler from The Norla Blog first brought this to my attention but here is the link he is writing about.

Sounds like Dale Jones’ rhetoric as Baptists in Georgia have passed a resolution stating that blogs have been used by “certain people … for divisive and destructive rhetoric at the expense of peace among the brethren.” (For those who don’t know: Jones has been critical of this blog, calling it “illegitimate”, “pitiful”,”pathetic”, “a joke” and “crap.”)

So what effect will this resolution have on blogging? The same as the Baptist’s boycott of Disney had on that company’s bottom line…none.

****************************************

This is something that should concern us all during the holiday season. Seems that December and January are the deadliest months for heart disease and over-indulging at those smart holiday parties can do you in right there on the spot.

“Right away, a particularly heavy meal, especially a high-fat one, stresses the heart as it is disgested. Blood pressure and heart rate increase. There’s even evidence that the lining of arteries becomes temporarily more clot-prone.”

Great, one more thing to worry about when hosting a party. As if making sure that food-borne pathogens don’t flourish in the items on the menu (especially those with mayo and dairy) is not a big enough worry.

“Too much salt has an even more immediate effect, causing fluid retention that in turn makes the heart have to pump harder.”

Uh-oh, Cajun food for example can be loaded with salt. Especially things like Cajun Deviled Eggs and the Creole seasonings used in many of the casseroles and other dishes.

“Alcohol in moderation is considered heart healthy. But if a round of holiday parties leaves you tipsy, that, too makes your heart pump harder to get blood to peripheral arteries.”

So an early party, both early in the season to avoid that cumulative effect, and early in the evening in hopes that those going to multiple events in one evening don’t tip the scales at the first party they attend, is your best bet to avoid that problem.

“People say the’re too busy to exercise…”

Now there is no way to shift the blame for this on to the host of a holiday party.

“Busy revelers tend to skip their medications…”

Please, take your medicine…all of it..(but no extra) before heading out to the parties.

At any rate, to my knowledge there has never been a falling out or an ambulance pick up at one of our parties and I hope it stays that way.

Besides, a Christmas party of celery and carrot sticks and granola bars just wouldn’t be the same. That’s reindeer food, I was brought up to believe, and we left those vegetable treats for the hooved animals and chocolate chip cookies and eggnog for the fat man in the red suit when I was a kid. And I am pretty sure he had a little alcohol when he stopped at our house on Christmas Eve as well. Now Santa still visits this house each year, so years of holiday goodies has not affected his health, I guess. Rock on, Santa.

>Baptists and Blogging and Unhealthy Christmas Parties

December 4, 2007

>Wheeler from The Norla Blog first brought this to my attention but here is the link he is writing about.

Sounds like Dale Jones’ rhetoric as Baptists in Georgia have passed a resolution stating that blogs have been used by “certain people … for divisive and destructive rhetoric at the expense of peace among the brethren.” (For those who don’t know: Jones has been critical of this blog, calling it “illegitimate”, “pitiful”,”pathetic”, “a joke” and “crap.”)

So what effect will this resolution have on blogging? The same as the Baptist’s boycott of Disney had on that company’s bottom line…none.

****************************************

This is something that should concern us all during the holiday season. Seems that December and January are the deadliest months for heart disease and over-indulging at those smart holiday parties can do you in right there on the spot.

“Right away, a particularly heavy meal, especially a high-fat one, stresses the heart as it is disgested. Blood pressure and heart rate increase. There’s even evidence that the lining of arteries becomes temporarily more clot-prone.”

Great, one more thing to worry about when hosting a party. As if making sure that food-borne pathogens don’t flourish in the items on the menu (especially those with mayo and dairy) is not a big enough worry.

“Too much salt has an even more immediate effect, causing fluid retention that in turn makes the heart have to pump harder.”

Uh-oh, Cajun food for example can be loaded with salt. Especially things like Cajun Deviled Eggs and the Creole seasonings used in many of the casseroles and other dishes.

“Alcohol in moderation is considered heart healthy. But if a round of holiday parties leaves you tipsy, that, too makes your heart pump harder to get blood to peripheral arteries.”

So an early party, both early in the season to avoid that cumulative effect, and early in the evening in hopes that those going to multiple events in one evening don’t tip the scales at the first party they attend, is your best bet to avoid that problem.

“People say the’re too busy to exercise…”

Now there is no way to shift the blame for this on to the host of a holiday party.

“Busy revelers tend to skip their medications…”

Please, take your medicine…all of it..(but no extra) before heading out to the parties.

At any rate, to my knowledge there has never been a falling out or an ambulance pick up at one of our parties and I hope it stays that way.

Besides, a Christmas party of celery and carrot sticks and granola bars just wouldn’t be the same. That’s reindeer food, I was brought up to believe, and we left those vegetable treats for the hooved animals and chocolate chip cookies and eggnog for the fat man in the red suit when I was a kid. And I am pretty sure he had a little alcohol when he stopped at our house on Christmas Eve as well. Now Santa still visits this house each year, so years of holiday goodies has not affected his health, I guess. Rock on, Santa.