The Heart of The Matter

Heart Health - The Heart of The Matter

When it comes to our health we look at multiple areas. We look at body fat, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, basic lab work, etc. But what is health, really? Webster’s defines health as the “absence of disease.” Is that really what it’s all about? Just hoping and waiting that we don’t get sick? I didn’t sign up for that one. That’s too pessimistic for me. Great health is about thriving. Great health is about thriving. It is about living to your potential.

Great health is the heart of the matter for many people. It is for me. The key is to have great health so you can have an amazing life. I get so tired of seeing people I care about not caring about their health. Here is a classic scenario. 

A person has a terrible diet. They eat whatever they want in their 20’s and 30’s. Then they hit their 40’s and things start to break down. Then they have a heart attack, a slight scare. They get a stent and get put on four precautionary heart meds for a year. Now they freak out and start eating healthy, almost perfect. They exercise, lose the weight, and then start to feel better. Then they come off the meds. The amazing part of this story is how they get back into their old lifestyle habits. Why? Patterns. People tend to want to be in their own patterns. Also lifestyle habits are exactly that, habits. How do you win? 

It comes down to your WHY. 

What is your Why? For real. What is your why? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Why do you work? Why do you do what you do every day? Why do you choose to eat junk instead of healthy when you have a wife and three kids that depend on you. Why do you sleep in instead of exercising… 

Why? 

It’s time to make some new decisions. It’s time to beef up your Why. Your Why is not strong enough. Love must be stronger that your learned behavior. The love you have for others. It’s time to own up. It’s time to own up that you are not making the best decisions for your health. And that is OK. Because today can be first day that you really start caring about your own Why. You can start with today. That is what it takes to have great health. To start empowering your health

Eating broccoli, beans, and berries is not difficult. That is actually the easy part. Having a strong enough Why is the key. 

Let me know in the comments below what your Why is. 

Take the first step.

Can You Prevent A Stroke Naturally?

Heart Health - Can You Prevent A Stroke Naturally?

When we hear the word “Stroke”, it can be alarming for anyone. A stroke can be listed as fairly harmless to deadly. It is a challenging situation for anyone to face with his or her health. So the question is, how do we avoid it? What can we do to naturally keep our bodies healthy enough to potentially never have one? If we understand what may be the root cause for many strokes, then we can ask and understand what to do to support the body. First we must understand what a stroke is. In radio, I hear this a lot. A stroke occurs when there is a weakness in the wall of a blood vessel causing it to tear or rupture. There are many theories on why this takes place. The plaquing of the arteries called atherosclerosis has been one universal theory in medicine that has caused the medical community to function off of the cholesterol premise to monitor good and bad cholesterol. The late Linus Pauling won a Nobel Peace Prize for his research on Vitamin C and its role in collagen production and stabilizing the vessels. He challenged much of the medical community of his day. It is a theory that is still being examined. At the heart of any health challenge, we must look at the physiology. A stroke is a weakened vessel in the body. What causes the weakness? Typically it has to do with the collagen and elastin that makes up the vessels themselves. Collagen is a protein that we get from the foods we eat. The challenge is that over time, our bodies break that collagen down. This is why you see much of the aging in the skin, the wrinkles, etc. Poor dietary habits, smoking, drinking, lack of sleep. These are all contributing factors.

But I thought strokes were genetic? Kind of. Yes genetics play a role in a stroke, but a limited amount. Our lifestyle choices that we make daily will usually override the genetics. So I am going to share some of the basics of what it takes to have a strong cardiovascular system. Ultimately, that should be the goal. Great stroke prevention is found in a healthy cardio system. So here we go…

1.Eat More Hydrolized Collagen
We just don’t get enough from chicken, fish, beef, etc. After age 40, our bodies don’t produce enough hydrochloric acid to properly break down the proteins. We must utilize a form of collagen that we can digest. Taking in about 10g per day has been shown in research to be helpful in addition to an anti-inflammatory diet. I personally like Great Lakes Hydrolized Collagen.

2.Increase Vitamin C
We are generally low in the levels we need in vitamin C. Getting it from natural sources like fruits and vegetables are the best option. Vitamin C is a catalyst for making Collagen to support strong and healthy vessels.

3.Exercise
Get moving 6 day per week. You don’t have the option of being lazy anymore if you want a strong cardio system. If you ache and hurt, then go swim. No more excuses.

4.Vitamin E
It’s been proven now that Vitamin E is a powerful source to help in collagen production and increasing the strength of the vessels. Make sure to get a natural source. Look on the label for the d-Alpha rather than the dl-alpha version.

5.Beef and Chicken Stock
Make your own bone broth and stock. Drinking the broth up to 16oz per day can have dramatic effects for empowering your health.

6.Sleep
The restoration that we get from sleep can be dramatic. The increase of our HgH growth hormone will help increase collagen and strengthen the vessels.

Beets and Blood Pressure

Heart Health - Beets and Blood Pressure

The best way to increase your blood pressure comes in various ways. There is new research that is helping us understand a better method by utilizing a powerful super food that can help support and stabilize blood pressure. Along with this food are some basic natural methods to keep blood pressure at bay. The main super food that we are seeing are beets. Beets and beet juice have some of the most powerful antioxidants around to help you revitalize your health. Beets have been used for years as a powerful support for digestive and overall cardiac health. However, there are some other great methods to support blood pressure that can be very helpful. Let’s look at some of these. 

1.Garlic
Garlic has been known to help lower blood pressure. Just one clove a day can have significant affects on our overall heart function. 

2.L-Arginine
A powerful amino acid. L-Arginine has been researched and been a major player in making nitric oxide to help in supporting blood pressure. Find it HERE

3.L-Citrulline
Another powerful amino acid to boot. This, in conjunction with green tea extract and L-arginine can have a powerful affect on helping to stabilize and normalize blood pressure. Find it HERE

4.Magnesium
This is the powerhouse. Because our soil is so depleted with this wonder mineral, magnesium can help to support and stabilize your blood pressure levels. I have personally seen so many people in a clinical setting benefit by just adding the right kind of magnesium for their health. It does depend on the right kind, however, and the best form is found HERE

5.Exercise
It seems so simple, right? I just want to get people to actually do it. Regular exercise, even walking is enough to help you get on the right track. Set an immediate goal of 10 minutes a day for 6 days per week. That’s just 1 hour per week!! 

By implementing these simple strategies you can easily make an impact on your overall cardiac and heart capacity for empowering your health.

The Exercise To Beat Hypertension

Heart Health - The Exercise To Beat Hypertension

Hypertension has become on of the leading health challenges we are facing today. However there are many natural ways to help in the battle. Exercise is a major key in helping to overcome this kind of issue. So what do we do? Is walking enough? There is an old method of exercise that is shown to help with high blood pressure and it is called rebounding. Rebounding is a form of exercise may help lower blood pressure considerably. Harvard has done studies on the various benefits of how jumping on a mini-trampoline just 5 minutes a day can help lower blood pressure. It results from the pumping mechanism of going up and down. 

Our body has a natural system called the lymphatic system. It is our body’s own detoxification system that helps eliminate toxins. The other added benefit is that it has been shown to help support healthy blood pressure levels. 

The great news about rebounding is that you can do it in the comfort of your own home! Just set the rebounder in front of your favorite sporting event or reality show and start jumping. It will increase your energy levels, help you break a sweat, and may just be the undiscovered key to supporting that blood pressure issue that you have been dealing with. 

Here are some tips in getting started with rebounding. 

1.Buy A Rebounder For Your Home
Normally I like to go somewhere to exercise. With rebounding I have found this is the perfect exercise for the house. It’s inexpensive and easy to set up in your favorite location. My favorite rebounder is at http://www.urbanrebounder.com

2.Rebound Every Day
If you are looking to drop weight or just be healthier, rebounding 5 minutes a day to 20 minutes a day can be great for your overall cardiovascular health and bring hope to the body. 

3.Drink More Water
Rebounding increases our lymphatic flow. Our body will seek to eliminate more toxins as you increase the movement. Aim for half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day for empowering your health

4.Breathe Deeper
The fact is that we breathe too shallow each and every day. Stress is a major player in our lives and keeps us from breathing the way that we should. Look into taking deep breaths every day. 3 sets of 30 deep breaths. 

5.Put The Mini Trampoline Outside
Fresh air is a powerful healing agent. We just don’t get enough. We are indoors most of the day in our cars, offices, and houses. Set the mini trampoline outside for a change and feel the benefits. 

This is one of the best exercises to include in your normal routine. It is easy to follow and produces amazing results no matter what your age.

Can You Exercise When You Have A Heart Condition?

Heart Health - Can You Exercise When You Have A Heart Condition?

One of the great challenges many face are what types of exercises to do when you are dealing with a heart condition. Whether it’s hypertension, a heart murmur, or atrial fibrillation, there are certain exercises that are actually beneficial to these conditions. When we exercise we increase the functionality of our entire system. And the great benefit is that we begin to ease much of the strain that can be on our cardiovascular system. When you are dealing with any diagnosis from your doctor regarding a heart condition, realize that exercise may be some of your best forms of medicine. Let’s look at the proven safe methods. These are some of the most beneficial for our cardiovascular system. When you bring these up to your doctor, ask them at what intensity level they will be ok with you doing the particular exercise. As you get stronger, you will be able to handle more.

1.Cycling 
This is one of my favorites. If you are also overweight and have any joint pain, cycling can be helpful in eliminating the pain while getting the aerobic and anaerobic benefits. 

2.Jogging 
This is great step up from walking. Ease into it. 

3.Swimming 
This is a top pick. Swimming works your entire body and can really push on your heart rate. Make sure to get clear from your doctor and follow a gradual approach. 

4.Strength Training 
I feel this is essential. One key in strength training that will help you maintain great strength and endurance is to keep your pace up. Your rest between sets of any format should be 30 seconds or less if you want to improve your cardiovascular system along with your strength. 

5.Walking 
Above all else, just start with walking 10 minutes a day, six days per week. It really is that simple. And walk with a strong pace. Walk like you are going to be late for a flight.

How Can You Lower Cholesterol Naturally?

Heart Health - How Can You Lower Cholesterol Naturally?

Sarah from Orlando, FL Writes:

I am 54 and have been dealing with high cholesterol for over ten years. My doctor has me on a statin medication. I do need to lose some weight. What can I do to help lower my cholesterol naturally?

Dear Sarah,

Cholesterol has its challenges for so many people. I think our perspective on cholesterol needs to be restructured. Cholesterol is actually a great asset to our overall health. I realize that you didn’t list your overall numbers, however, the numbers do tell us some great information. Lets get into the basics of cholesterol and how it is good for us. Cholesterol is necessary for the production of our hormones in the body. It is produced by the liver and is broken down in a general sense into two main areas, the high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and the low density lipoproteins (LDL). We typically describe the two categories as the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and the “good” cholesterol (HDL). However, they both are actually good for our body. The liver produces the LDL cholesterol and it goes and does its work with many of our cells. Once its finished, the HDL comes in to clean out the residue of the LDL and the cycle starts all over again. I like to think of the LDL as the workhorse and the HDL as the clean-up crew. The challenge with our health comes when we have too much LDL and not enough HDL. Too much LDL and our body starts getting backed up, especially when we have low amounts of HDL. Then, instead of the clean-up crew using a vacuum cleaner, all they have is a dust buster! 

Most of these cholesterol issues have to do with our lifestyle choices. As you stated, you need to lose some weight. Our dietary choices play a major role in how well our body produces and eliminates cholesterol. When you go to your doctor and they tell you that you have high cholesterol, it usually means that the LDL is too high for the body to manage on its own for empowering health. That is why the statin drugs have become the standard of care to help people manage their cholesterol. The great news is that you can do many natural lifestyle modifications to help support better cholesterol and get you into a position to transform your health.

Here are some basic tips on improving your overall cholesterol numbers:

Natural Ways To Improve Cholesterol 

1.Go Nuts ! 
Research shows us that people who eat nuts are more likely to have less heart disease. Go nuts with the tope 3 of Brazil nuts, Almonds, and Walnuts. They are loaded with magnesium, copper, and vitamin E.

2.Increase Salmon  
Loaded with omega-3 fats that help to lower the LDL cholesterol and raise the HDL

3.An Avocado A Day 
The monounsaturated fats help to lower triglycerides and LDL. There is also a key component called beta sitosterol that helps to reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed from foods.

4.Get Some Garlic  
New research show that garlic can reduce the artery clogging plaque called nanoplaque. 

5.Eat More Spinach 
One of my favorites! Spinach contains lutein which helps get rid of the cholesterol from sticking to the arterial walls.

6.Exercise Regularly 
Research has proven that just 10-15 minutes of exercise each day will help to lower the LDL and raise the HDL cholesterol.

7.Hydrate 
Drinking half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day will help support healthy cholesterol levels

5 Ways To Avoiding A Stroke

Heart Health - 5 Ways To Avoiding A Stroke

Close to 800,000 of Americans will see a stroke this year. It doesn’t have to be this way. Why does a stroke actually occur? There are many reasons why a stroke can happen. A weakened cardiovascular system comes from a weakened set of lifestyle choices. The great news is that even if there is a family history, many times there is a way to overcome the incidence of getting a stroke. Let’s look at some of the best lifestyle practices to follow to ensure that you can win the battle against this potentially deadly condition our lifestyle is our best medicine. Ever heard that? If you listen to my radio and television shows I am constantly teaching you how what we do today will determine the kind of health we will have tomorrow. It all really begins with our choices. 

1.Lower The Salt 
It is proven that too much salt can stress our cardiovascular system. Keep your overall salt intake to around 2400 mg per day. If you have already had any heart related condition, then keep it to 1500 mg. 

2.Monitor The Blood Pressure 
Blood pressure is one of the primary causes of stroke. Look to increase your exercise and monitor your diet. Also look at rebounding on a mini trampoline to help support your efforts. 

3.Avoid Diabetes 
New studies show that diabetes can increase the risk of stroke. Make sure to work with your Health Coach Provider to get your metabolism and entire blood sugar system in check. 

4.Balance Cholesterol 
This is a big one. You don’t want the cholesterol too low and you don’t want it too high. You have to keep it in check. Eating foods rich in protein and omega 3 fatty acids will make the difference.

5.Get To A Healthy Weight 
Your overall weight is a key. Studies show that we need to be at a set point of where our bodies will be the healthiest. Set a number goal, like 150 lbs. Write it down, post it on your refrigerator, and work like your life depends on it to reach that goal. Because it does.

The Top Keys To Have A Healthy Heart

Heart Health - The Top Keys To Have A Healthy Heart

Heart disease is still the leading killer in America today. Why? With all of the research out there, it is believed now that stress may be the contributing factor. Our mental health is a result of our lifestyle choices in many ways. Lets face it. We all have stress. Stress is a part of life. I believe it is not really the stress we have in our lives, but how we choose to deal with that stress. There are some great natural and lifestyle ways to handle keeping a healthy heart. It all begins with your own personal stress management plan. Our lifestyle choices will directly determine how well our health will be. So we must choose wisely. Let’s look at some basic tips to keep our heart healthy in the middle of life’s most difficult challenges. 

1.Your Network Matters 
Who we choose to spend our time with truly matters. We must spend time with those that keep us encouraged and have our best interest at heart. Healthy relationships create a healthy heart. Just like stressful relationships can actually create damage to our heart and overall health. It matters. 

2.Your Eating Matters 
When it comes to eating for your heart there are some core principles that make the difference. Eating real natural, unprocessed foods as listed in my anti-inflammatory diet will get you on the right path. It includes equal amounts of lean protein sources, low glycemic carbohydrates, and healthy fats. 

3. Your Exercise Matters 
You have to get moving. Stop telling yourself that walking the dog and gardening are healthy activities. They are better than sitting on the couch. Yes. However, they will not generate the kind of heart healthy benefits that you are looking for. Focus on getting out and doing some form of strenuous exercise that gets your heart rate up.

4.Your Sleep Matters 
If you are not sleeping, then you are headed toward some potential challenges with your heart health. Numerous studies have been performed to show us how important sleep is to our body’s ability to recover from the stress of the day and keep our heart performing at its best.