Friday, April 27, 2012


Even though you may watch your food intake very carefully, it’s possible, and even probable, that you will make the occasional mistake.

Yesterday, I had lunch at East Side Mario’s.  I do watch my food carefully and even have on my phone what I can eat at most of the restaurants that I frequent. However, I did not have that information with me for that restaurant, although it was on my computer back home. So, I tried to pick items that appeared safe. I chose a garden salad and seafood linguini.  What a mistake !

At the end of the day, my calories, cholesterol and total fat were all within my daily limits.  But the sodium for that day was almost three times my limit.

The fault was not with the restaurant; the food was good and the service was excellent.  The problem was with me.  I should have known what I could eat there.  When managing your health, you must be knowledgeable and vigilant.

So, why was the sodium overdose so important ?  Well, too much sodium causes you to retain fluid and increases your blood pressure.  This retention of fluid will show as puffiness and increased weight. Cardiologists recommend that, if your weight increases by more than two pounds in one day, you should see your physician soon.

The sudden increase in sodium in one meal will likely increase your weight and blood pressure, if only for a short period. But then these indicators are now somewhat inaccurate for the real state of your body.

This website has a good explanation of what is happening:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Is Your Heart Now the Weak Link in Your Body ?

After a heart attack, most people feel depressed and anxious.  Depressed because it makes them feel that either they are getting old or their body is letting them down. And anxious because, like waiting for the other shoe to drop, they are waiting for the next attack.  Are these reasonable thoughts ?  Maybe not, but they are real and they do happen to most survivors.

“By virtue of the fact that you now have scar tissue on your heart muscle, you may be at higher-than-normal risk for sudden death from heart arrhythmias.” ref Richard N. Fogoros, M.D.

One cardiologist told me that, with proper attention to the Trilogy of Heart (stress, diet, exercise) and careful attention to meds, a heart survivor has a better chance of not having another heart attack than other people do.  For all of us here, we hope that is true.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Nordic Walking is Great for your Cardio Exercise

You know you need to exercise if you are not going to repeat your heart attack.  

Wouldn’t you like to find an exercise that is:
  • enjoyable, 
  • easy to do, 
  • requires minimal training and 
  • offers great benefits ?  
Nordic Pole Walking is the answer for you.  It is the fastest growing low-impact activity in North America.  It looks like walking with ski poles, but it isn’t quite that. But, once you learn how to do it, it is easy and the benefits are great.
  •     Nordic Pole Walking burns up to 46% more calories than walking.
  •     Increases heart and cardiovascular training up to 22%.
  •     Incorporates 90% of all body muscles.
  •     Helps to eliminate back, shoulder and neck pain.
  •     Less impact on hip, knee and foot joints.
  •     Increases production of “positive” hormones.
  •     Supports stress management and mental disorders.
  •     Develops upright body posture.
It is so popular in Europe that there are approximately 10 - 15 million Nordic Pole walkers there.  And there are hundreds of clinical and scientific reports about the health benefits of Nordic Pole walking available in scientific publications.

It is good training for your upper body because it involves approximately 90% of your muscles and especially engages your upper body and arm muscles.   

It is good for Cardiovascular Training because it increases your heart rate by approximately 15 beats per minute.   
It increases your energy consumption by 20% to 46% and increases burning of calories by up to 46% in comparison to walking exercise without Nordic Poles.
It significantly increases the lateral mobility of your neck and spine.
It reduces the impact on your knee and hip joints by 30% over jogging.
And, it mitigates pain and muscle tension in the neck, shoulder and back regions.

Go to a sports store and purchase your poles. They can likely direct you to some training at a local facility.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Trilogy of Heart

There are several things that must be brought under control if you are going to survive your heart attack(s) (yes plural, many people have multiple attacks).

What you can easily control
  • diet
  • exercise
  • stress

These, I call the Trilogy of Heart.

What you can control, with difficulty

There are some other things that can be controlled but these are more difficulty and usually take much more time. These include . . .
  • poor blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • high blood pressure
  • smoking
  • diabetes (limited)
  • overweight
  • drinking alcohol
  • sleep apnea
  • metabolic syndrome

What can’t you control
  • age
  • gender
  • family history of heart disease
  • race & ethnicity
  • diabetes

You probably already know that to avoid another heart attack, you have to manage your lifestyle and likely change the things that caused you to have this one.  These changes will include the trilogy of diet, exercise and stress reduction. You will have to make changes. 

And, we will talk about these in a later post.