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BROKEN HEART FITNESS – Fitness Group for Cardiac and Heart Patients  June 15, 2017

Broken Heart was the first name that came to mind. It doesn’t say the heart is done, just that it is broken in some way and can be improved or maintained. 

A fitness club or workout group that is focused  on cardiac issues relating to diet and exercise is an obvious group and many fitness clubs and groups address cardiac wellness and health in general . A group of this nature would focus specifically improving and / or maintaining the heart health , especially after a diagnosis of heart failure or heart disease.

Organizing, leading or supporting a helpful group provides the volunteers (some that are experts – interested patients or family members ) the opportunity to give back while also improving personal cardiac health and strength as needed. Service in the support of others is what we are here for.

God designed us to give or lend strength to others and those in need. It is one of the ways we fulfill His great Commandment : love other people as much as we love ourselves .  Heart Patients, heart experts and other interested persons can assist a group in organizing and succeeding.

The club/ group is being formed with the goals of :

  1. Assist all members in achieving fitness goals
  2. Promote best total health for all members
  3. Provide diet and food guidance and support
  4. Support lifestyle changes necessary for recovery and strength

If interested please follow up with comments and we will reply via email. 
@martyroddy

 

A FIB, Atrial Fibrillation – Getting the Rhythm Back June 11, 2017

I have been writing lately about my diagnosis of heart failure / Atrial Fibrillation {A Fib} and the reasons I was unable to breathe comfortably at the beginning of March ( actually I was struggling and living a risky life for a few weeks before). Now that the diagnosis is in, I have the opportunity to overcome the problems that led to it and prepare for and live a healthy life.

The first situation was a 10 day stay in the hospital where the primary concern was helping me breathe easily again. This was achieved through an intensive medical regimen-centered on diuretics to flush my body of excess fluids. I lost nearly 50 pounds of fluid during the hospital stay. I continued to flush and lost more than 100 pounds.

What else was done or is done to treat and /or deal with heart failure and AFib ? What was prescribed for me?

  1. Medical- While in the hospital the doctors tried a handful of medicines to see what would work and eventually I ended up with prescriptions for 2 blood pressure medications(anti-hypertensives) One and A.C.E. inhibitor and a Calcium Channel blocker. I have also been taking a baby aspirin as a blood thinner(platelet thinner) As well as continued use of a low dose diuretic to reduce fluid build up.  I have also been taking magnesium and potassium since these valuable electrolytes are often flushed with diuretic use.
  2. Exercise- Though it was not specifically “prescribed” I was determined to get back to working out and the doctors seemed to let me go. I was essentially starting over so I was not able to overdo things at the beginning, and now almost 3 months later, I still can not really overdo it when I walk or ride or row BUT I have been tempted to push it a little with the resistance exercises ( lifting weights/machines)  I have experienced an increase in strength and fitness as I do the work and have even felt the cardio-vascular fitness improve. I have short and long term goals that include completing another marathon….but today I hope to be able to walk 2 1/2 miles in the next few weeks.
  3. Lose Weight- The goal here is to reach a weight that puts my BMI in the right zone, allows me to walk and run with little or no pain in my knees and I can wear clothing sizes I have not looked at in years.  Though I have listed this as a separate prescription it goes hand in hand with #2 and #4- [exercise and diet] I also got  nice head start with the 100 pound fluid loss , reduce stress on knees and body and allow me to keep moving. I recently started using a Heart rate monitor(I will write about using it later).
  4. Diet- The dietary recommendations were simple….NO SALT….NO SALT…NO SALT with a secondary focus on limiting fluids to 64 oz a day and a final focus on eating a low fat, low sugar diet with a focus on veggies and fruits and whole grains. I have just started on a specific popular program for weight loss and heart health and will write about it later.                                 AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST
  5. CARDIOVERSION TREATMENT -Cardioversion is a medical procedure done to restore a normal heart rhythm for people who have certain types of abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias). Cardioversion is most often done by sending electric shocks to your heart through electrodes placed on your chest. This may also be accomplished with medicines. This treatment will take place this week and i an eager for the results. I am curious how my fitness activities will feel when my heart is beating in a normal fashion.  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/PreventionTreatmentofArrhythmia/Cardioversion_UCM_447318_Article.jsp#.WT1lTozyuM8

 

@martyroddy

 

ASPARAGUS- Joyful little tasty surprises from the ground June 6, 2017

It is the heart of Farmers Market season, and in Virginia the good as gold crop in the early season is always asparagus. The delicious sprouts clean out of the for,early cold ground to feed us with delicious, tender goodness. Thy have a short season but it is so delicious. 

Growing asparagus is also rewarding if you have the patience to wait for them to grow, season and develop over a 2 year prep period.

The following is one of many recipes I use to enjoy these tasty surprises.
INGREDIENTS
2 cups chickpeas soaked 6 hours, cooked over medium heat for 1 1-2

Fresh thyme  and freshly ground pepper

1 pound asparagus, tough ends removed

 3 tablespoons extra virgin- cocunut oil

2 cloves garlic, minced ( or more to taste)

Juice and zest 1 lemon

1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
DIRECTIONS
Soak and cook beans , can add onions garlic, pepper when cooking.

 Blanch asparagus in pot ,for 1 minute,rinse under cold water.transfer to ice.

 Drain beans , shake off excess water. Make sur  asparagus is dry

Heat a large skillet over medium-high. Swirl in oil, then add garlic and beans and season.

 Cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is softened, 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer beans to a plate with a slotted spoon. Let skillet cool slightly, then whisk lemon juice into oil in skillet; season with salt and pepper. (Add more oil if dressing is too tart.) Add asparagus; toss to coat with dressing.

Combine almonds and lemon zest in a small bowl. Transfer asparagus to a platter, top with beans, and drizzle remaining dressing in skillet over top. Sprinkle with almond-zest mixture and serve.

 

MAGNESIUM Poor ? , Eat Up for Your Heart and Body June 5, 2017

I recently wrote about potassium and what to eat to increase and/or maintain necessary levels in the body . Magnesium is a mineral that is also extremely important for physical health and vitality and especially for heart health.

Magnesium is in demand for enzyme function throughout the  body- at least 300 enzymes utilize Mg to function properly. There are hundreds ( thousands) of proteins that need Mg for proper binding function.

The heart uses more magnesium than all other organs and the maintenance of proper serum Mg levels limits promotes vigorous heart health and reduces high blood pressure, prevents arrhythmia ,cardiovascular disease and even sudden cardiac death.

Many people are deficient in magnesium ( 50-80%) and are at risk for diseases and symptoms related to magnesium deficiency.  
FOODS FOR MAGNESIUM:

  • Dark leafy greens – spinach,chard, kale, mustard…
  • Nuts and seeds- almonds, walnuts, macadamias,pumpkin, sunflower, sesame
  • Bananas
  • Coffee- black 
  • Cacao and Dark chocolate
  • Beans/ Legumes- black beans, kidneys, pintos….
  • Whole grains
  • Figs
  • Potatoes 
  • Brassicas – broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale
  • Mackerel 

Here is some video information on Magnesium and the heart:


@martyroddy

 

What  a Heart Failure ? May 26, 2017

Now that I am dealing with, treating this diagnosis and was surprised by it when I went to the hospital in March. Initially I was relieved to hear a diagnosis and a couple of doctors and nurses tell me that it can be overcome.   

They gave me that hope without any deep information nor explanations. Eventually a few folks from Social work, social service offices brought information about Heart Failure. It include a cursory description of what it was and a little bit how it gets started. The information also had suggestions for living with it and treating it.

  • Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood  to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen.      
  • the heart can’t keep up with its workload.      
  • The heart is a muscle that pumps blood to the other organs of the body, but “Heart Failure” doesn’t mean the heart has stopped working. It means it can’t pump properly

Certain behaviors can lead to heart failure:

  • Eating foods that are high in salt, fat, and cholesterol 
  •  getting enough physical activity. 
  • Being overweight

I found a few videos with some basic info.

– this first one was interesting as I started my journey with symptoms of bronchitis and ended up in the Emergency room. Unable to breathe with A FIB AND heart failure.

-The following has a few useful tips for dealing with and living with heart failure.

@martyroddy

 

Some Secondary Goals as I Return to Fitness and Health. May 21, 2017

I realized the other day that I need to expand my set of goals and objectives for my current fitness journey. The obvious and most pressing is strengthening the heart and lungs, the entire cardio-pulmonary system, as a result of my heart failure diagnosis. As that is going forward I need to expand the focus to  total body program .

I need to :

  1. increase knee flexibility and suppleness
  2. add some speed and even “jump”
  3. total body flexibility ( exercises and maybe Yoga)

The following videos address some of my personal concerns with my knees as I start over and get BACK in shape. I find that my knees have been stiff and occasionally sore. As I continue to exercise I will do these moves to help the knees…which will help me continue. I have also joined a gym @Snapfitness and I have used the bike and rower ( @Concept2 ) for knee relieving cardio. Some workouts I combine cardio tools for increased burn and reduced stress on knees.

In the long “run” my body will improve and knees will feel great as I maintain a steady weight loss and fitness program . Lower body weight will stress the knees much less , and since i have already dropped 100+ pounds the knees feel pretty good.

VIDEO: A few exercises to help keep the knees healthy and flexible

VIDEO: Specific exercise for the knees

 

Now I will address the 2nd and 3rd item in more depth later but here are  few related links.

SPEED….

http://pin.it/dnVAW6Y

and

http://pin.it/HdRdjdJ

FLEXIBILITY…

http://pin.it/t2qikKx

and

http://pin.it/4URU54z

More to come- add any questions or suggestions- always love to learn and grow.

 

@martyroddy

 

Heart Failure, Exercise and Improvement May 16, 2017

Now that I have heart failure and am dealing with it , I will write about it as I work to,overcome and live a long happy, healthy life.

I have been living with the diagnosis for 2 months now and my exercise has helped my head and my heart and even my fat butt…. keep the blood pumping and clean as I exercise and ear right….diagnosis of no more failure….just a healthy 54 year old heart.
The following video discusses some basics for the use of exercise to improve life after the diagnosis.

Fun info on overcoming the challenge and training for Ironman…or life…..QUOTE: You can get off the couch and live the life you want…even with heart disease.

@martyroddy