Tag Archives: heart health

Beginner’s Guide to the Chakras, Part Two

A brief background plus an overview of the first three chakras was outlined in part one of the Beginner’s Guide to the Chakras. The following is a continuation of the guide that explains the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh chakras and what you can do to keep them open and in balance.

4th Chakra

Sanskrit name: Anahata
English name: meaning “unstruck”
Location: middle of the chest
Associated body parts: heart, lungs and arms
Color: green
Element: air
Sound vibration: YA

  • Governs sense of unconditional love, heart-felt gratitude and the ability to share.
  • When your fourth chakra is out of balance you may have difficulty giving and receiving unconditional love for yourself and others. You might also have a weak heart, suffer from arrhythmia, heart palpitations or certain breathing problems.
  • Yoga poses such as camel, bow and cobra help to open and balance the heart chakra.


Fix Your Heart Before It Breaks on The Today Show

Today Show SunriseTune in to the Today show on Wednesday, August 10th for a special segment about keeping your heart healthy. Dr. Keri Peterson will be sharing some tips on how to prevent heart problems before they happen.

In addition to being a practicing physician, Dr. Keri Peterson is a contributing columnist at Women’s Health magazine. Each month, she answers reader’s questions in her column, “The Doctor Is In.” If you can’t watch Wednesday’s episode, you can find the doctor’s heart health advice in the September issue of the magazine. Check your local listings for show times.

Women’s Health is a great resource for recipe ideas, new ways to workout style tips, health treads and much more.

Subscribe to Women’s Health magazine here!

Keeping Your Cholesterol Numbers in Check

Many things come with age. Unfortunately, some of those are narrowed arteries and high cholesterol. These days, being prescribed medication for high cholesterol is almost a given, maybe even a right of passage from middle age to senior citizen-hood. But let’s face it, no one likes to take medication and many people would like to try supplements and lifestyle changes before they jump on the prescription bandwagon.

So first, let’s define a few things. When you get a lipid panel here are things you will see and what your target numbers are:

  • HDL=good cholesterol Goal: Greater than 40 mg/dL for men, greater than 50 mg/dL for women
  • Total cholesterol = combination of your LDL/HDL and other components Goal: Less than 200 mg/dL
  • Triglycerides = Fat that your body stores Goal: Less than 150 mg/dL


Huge Meta-Analysis Shows No Link Between Saturated Fat and Cardiovascular Disease

Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.

Saturated fat was recently in the news at the Institute of Food Technologists expo when experts revealed, again, that the link between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease is inconclusive. Both the public and professionals are now confused, since diets low in fat, particularly saturated fat, have been the mainstay of scientific consensus for more than 30 years. Saturated fat, a solid fat mainly found in animal foods, includes cheese, whole milk, butter, and fatty cuts of meat. It, together with liquid poly- and mono-unsaturated fats from nuts, seeds, grains and fish, make up all naturally-occurring dietary fat.

Back in the 1970s, the American Heart Association and other authorities said to reduce all fat to 30 percent of total calories and saturated fat to 10 percent or less. The recommendation was drawn from epidemiologic studies that compared the diets among different countries, in particular, the Seven Countries Study. Those studies showed a correlation between total fat intake and rates of heart disease. That, along with the National Diet-Heart Study of the 1960s, form the basis of the message that reduction in saturated fat lowers blood cholesterol and risk of heart disease.


Eat Your Way to Lower Cholesterol with These Foods

By Delia Quigley for Care2.com

In drugged America (or is it drunk America? Hmm, that’s a toss up), Americans are blindly medicating, when really the answer is a simple change of diet and exercise. With 1 in 5 Americans testing high for cholesterol it’s no wonder cholesterol-fighting drugs are the most popular ones on the market. Lipitor is the most prescribed cholesterol lowering medicine world-wide; and though it is handed out like candy, there can be some nasty side effects when taking these kind of drugs including, aggression, hostility, headaches, muscle pain, and diarrhea.

On the other hand, eliminating high fat processed foods and eating whole grains and vegetables instead can easily lower high cholesterol. To help control high cholesterol levels due to genetic factors recent studies suggest that a more natural approach would be to take a red rice yeast extract along with eating a whole foods diet and adding exercise. However, when transitioning on to a higher quality diet make sure to have your medical practitioner monitor your statin levels, as you will need less and less until they become a distant memory.

The following list are specific foods known to help cleanse cholesterol build-up in the arteries and heart. This is due to their high levels of fiber, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Lecithin, Vitamin E, C, Niacin and Rutin. (more…)

High-Fat Diets Actually Help the Heart, Study Finds

File this one in the “goes against everything we’ve been told” file.

A recent study published in American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology suggests that a high-fat diet is OK and even beneficial for the heart. The study, which looked at cardiac function in patients suffering from heart failure, found that that a high-fat diet improved the heart’s ability to pump, along with boosting cardiac insulin resistance (which reduces the risk of diabetes). Sounds pretty different than what we’ve been told all along right? That eating too much fat is bad for the heart?

Not so fast. According to the study which was  funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, and the Case Center for Imaging Research, all fats are not created equal. In fact, a balanced diet that includes mono- and polyunsaturated fats, and which replaces simple sugars and highly processed foods with complex carbs, are most beneficial for damaged hearts. Notice what wasn’t on that list of a healthy diet? Trans fats or saturated fats.


U.S. Will Be Smoke Free by 2020 If Trend Continues, CDC Says

Remember the days when you’d walk in a restaurant and they’d ask you whether you’d like to sit in the smoking or non-smoking section? Or when you’d come out from having a drink at happy hour just reeking of cigarette smoke? Seems weird to us now since the effects of second-hand smoke have become so well known, and many businesses (or municipalities) have gone smoke-free, but it used to be commonplace to have your meal — or to sit at your office desk — alongside a smoker. In fact, it’s only been in the last 10 years that the majority of Americans have been able to breathe smoke-free in public.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), little by little over the past decade the smoke-free trend has grown, changing the way we think about smoking, along with saving lives and money spent in health care costs annually. From 2000 to 2010, 25 states and the District of Columbia enacted state-wide smoke-free laws. Additionally, a number of states are considering doing the same or are planning to strengthen its existing smoke-free laws to better protect its citizens from second-hand smoke. If this smoke-free national trend continues at its current pace, this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report by the CDC reports that all U.S. states will be smoke-free by 2020. That’s less than nine years away!


Sprint Your Way to Heart Health

We’ve all heard at one time or another that exercise is good for heart health and preventing cardiovascular disease. In fact, that’s why we call it “cardio.” For many years, doctors and fitness professionals (including me!)  have told patients and clients to be sure to get regular steady state cardio most days of the week for at least 30 minutes a day. While this advice is still solid, new research is showing that when it comes to exercise and heart health, sometimes a sprint is better than a marathon.

According to new research recently published in the American Journal of Human Biology, when it comes to preventing cardiovascular disease in adolescents, short-duration high-intensity exercise may be more beneficial for the heart than traditional endurance training that emphasizes a lower intensity for a longer amount of time. Researchers from the University of the West of Scotland recruited a group of volunteer school-aged children, and found that after seven weeks of regular exercise, those adolescents who did a short series of 20-meter sprints that only took minutes had just as many heart-health benefits as students who ran at a moderate intensity for 20 minutes, three times a week.


Senior Stereotypes Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Benjamin Goode is a Senior Fitness Consultant, medical writer and educator. Ben publishes a website called GoSeniorFitness.com and a blogs at bengoode.blog.com. The website provides older adults with practical health and fitness information. In 1972, Mr. Goode founded and published the American Journal of Sports Medicine – the first professional American journal dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of sports-related injuries. This journal is now the official journal of The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about the infirmities of old age. The sad result is that the oldsters themselves start to believe them. Then, they use these fallacies as excuses for not exercising and not following a sensible diet.

“I’m just too old and out of shape for that sort of thing” says a 65 year-old, retired accountant. He’s gained more than twenty-five pounds in the last few years and finds it difficult to get around. He takes medication for hypertension and he’s been told by his doctor to reduce his dietary intake of sugar, salt and fats. He complains of being tired all the time and has lapsed into a sedentary lifestyle. He’s a victim of That Ol’ Rockin’ Chair’s Got Me syndrome.


The More Active You Are, the Less Salt Affects Your Body

With many of us trying to keep our salt intake down (especially after these new, more restrictive, sodium guidelines were released), it’s always nice to hear that there are delicious ways to season our food without adding sodium. Now, new research shows there’s something you can do outside of the kitchen to keep sodium low: Exercise!

Scientists at the recent American Heart Association’s Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism/Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention 2011 Scientific Sessions found that the more physically active you are, the less your blood pressure rises in response to a high-salt diet. Talk about good news for those who work out, and fantastic motivation for those just thinking of starting a workout plan, right?