Knock Down Your Resting Heart Rate

I bet you know exactly what your heart rate goes up to at the gym, but do you know what’s like when you’re just sitting there watching Netflix?

It may not seem super important, but your resting heart rate can say a lot about your health and fitness level. A lower heart rate usually means a higher level of fitness, and that’s associated with reduced heart trouble risk. But if your heart rate at rest is higher, it can signal an increased risk of heart problems. That’s why, my friends, it’s time to learn how to get yours down!

A heart rate of 60 to 100 beats per minutes while at rest is considered normal, but research has indicated that a rate between 60 to 80 is ideal. A ten-year study published in the The Journal of the American Medical Association (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/1104748) found that people who had a resting heart rate of 70 beats per minute or less had a lower death risk than those with rates of 70 to 85 beats per minute.

To get your resting heart rate, check in the morning; changes in body position, hydration, and activity levels all affect the measurement. Keep in mind that your age, medications, level of exercise and genetics can also impact your resting heart rate. Once you know what yours is, you can check it several times in a week to see what the trends are, and you can start working on lowering it using the tips below.

Hit the gym

Both strength training and aerobics can help lower your resting heart rate by improving your heart health. If you’ve not yet committed to any sort of regular exercise routine, now’s the time to start!

Reduce anxiety and stress

Of course, this is easier said than done, but anxiety and stress are unnecessary strains on your health. Try walking, reading more–whatever it is that can help you decompress each day. Yoga, meditation and some other activities have also been linked to reduced anxiety and stress.

Get some sleep

Getting the right amount of good, restful sleep improves your heart rate, your health and your performance in general. While recommendations vary, most experts agree that between seven and eight hours of sleep each night is what adults need.

Your resting heart rate is an indication of your heart’s health and performance. Knock that number down to get the most out of your body.

One is a Dangerous Number for Your Heart, As It Turns Out

So, my friends, it just so happens that one isn’t just the loneliest number; it can also mean some disastrous things for your heath health. When you feel alone, isolated and just disconnected from others, it not only impacts your mental state but your heart health.

Loneliness is a terrible thing to experience on its own, and the findings of a study on how it impacts your health are pretty alarming.

The recent study, which was carried out by scientists from the University of Copenhagen and reported on by the Telegraph, included 13,443 people who had had a heart attack. After taking a look at the health outcomes for each person, the researchers found that men who reported being lonely were twice as likely to die a year after their heart attack compared to men who didn’t report loneliness, and women fared even worse at three times as likely (https://www.msn.com/en-ae/lifestyle/wellbeing/loneliness-is-a-killer-the-health-problems-associated-with-an-isolated-life/ar-AAJWosz?li=BBqrVLO).

Other studies have been carried out on the impact of being alone on your health, and none of them have had good results. Researchers have found that lonely people sleep more poorly, have reduced function and are more likely to have inflammation than people who have a network of family or friends.

While social media may seem like the answer to loneliness, it really isn’t. It’s not been found to be a proper replacement for a community simply because we weren’t made to relate to each other without face-to-face contact. That’s why talking to loved ones over the phone, especially ones who are far away, doesn’t feel the same as seeing them in person.

What you can do

If you feel disconnected from others, you may feel depressed and anxious, and you’re certainly not alone when struggling with loneliness. You can start taking some steps to get yourself back out there and avoid experiencing the negative consequences loneliness can bring, such as:

•       Getting a new job or making some life change
•       Adopting a furry or reptilian friend
•       Joining a volunteer group
•       Working out with other people
•       Using digital media to connect with people when necessary
•       Taking a social media break if it’s making you feel more lonely
•       Learning a new skill

It’s never easy to get back into the community, but trust me: you can do it. Start off easy with one of the steps above to get yourself back out there!

It’s Time to Put that Energy Drink Down

I want more energy, you want more energy–I get it. Nothing is worse than having a terrible–or amazing–day ahead of you but feeling like there’s no place you’d rather be than in your bed. I’ve been there, wandering the aisles of the first gas station for that magic of energy in a bottle.

Unfortunately, my friends, I’m here to tell you the jig is up as new research is showing that energy drinks can cause more harm than just that initial crash.

In a study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers found that energy drink consumption may damage your heart (https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/JAHA.118.011318). In this study, 34 participants around 22 years old drank 32 ounces of one of the two energy drinks used in the study or a placebo over a period of 60 minutes for three study days. In between each study day was a six-day washout period during which they did not drink any energy drinks.

All of the participants were healthy, and researchers took their baseline central blood and brachial pressures prior to the start of the energy-drinking portion of the study, in addition to once every half-hour for four hours on study days after they had consumed the drinks.

The results from this study showed that the participants had a longer Qtc interval after drinking the energy beverages, and this lasted for more than the four hours during which the researchers took data. A Qtc interval is a “corrected”–the average over a series of measurements–time from when your cardiac ventricles begin contraction to when they finish relaxing. A long or prolonged Qtc interval, as seen in this study, is a risk factor for heart arrhythmia and has been associated with faster, more chaotic heartbeats that can lead to fainting, a seizure or even sudden death.

Based on the blood pressure readings, researchers also recommended people with high blood pressure avoid energy drinks as they can make this condition worse. It’s worth noting that both energy drinks used in this study had less than 350 milligrams of caffeine, since doses under 400 mg are not believed to influence the results you get from an EKG.

One noted limitation of this study was that it only examined the effects of short-term energy drink consumption and not that of people who drink them all the time. Either way, the message is clear: it’s time to toss those drinks!

Wide Swings in Your Blood Pressure May Signal Trouble

Blood pressure is a boring subject, I get it. We all know it should be low and that for far too many people, it isn’t.

But I wouldn’t bring it up unless it was important, and folks, I’m talking super-important here. Specifically, I’m going to lay out what having wide swings in your blood pressure readings all the time could mean, according to some recent studies.

Blood pressure readings aren’t meant to be the same all the time, of course. A different measurement method or even switching arms can causing readings to change. A slight difference isn’t much to write home about, but a study out of the University of Alabama has discovered that wider variations across readings could signal trouble down the line.

During the study, 25,814 men and women aged 55 and older who had high blood pressure had their readings taken seven times over 22 months to see how much variability there was between their diastolic (bottom number) and systolic (top number) readings across the visits (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26215765). After the 22-month period ended, they followed the participants for about three years to see who developed heart disease–including strokes and heart attacks–and who died. The goal of the study was to see whether patients with greater variability in their readings had increased heart events.

The researchers found that the greater the variability in blood pressure over the 22-month period, the higher the chances the participant suffered a heart event. The one-fifth of the participants who had the most variability in their readings were 30 percent more likely to die of cardiovascular disease or have a non-fatal heart attack when compared to the people in the lowest one-fifth. Stroke chances were 46 percent higher, heart failure risk was 25 percent higher, and the risk for death from any cause was 58 percent higher in the top one-fifth than the lowest one-fifth.

Of course, researchers still can’t say for certain it was the blood pressure variations in the highest one-fifth that caused the health problems they suffered as the study couldn’t prove cause and effect. It does signal, however, that maybe it’s time to keep an eye on blood pressure regularly and not just when you’re at risk because it’s very high.

If you have high blood pressure, it may be a good idea to get a home monitor so you can take regular readings to share with your doctor. These readings will give your doctor a more accurate idea of your blood pressure range than just the readings taken when you visit the doctor’s office alone.

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