Issue 7 -
April 9, 2005
By Gene Millen
Today's Heart Health
1. Millen's musings.
2. Are your heart arteries trying to send you
3. New and revised pages.
4. Heart Health Tips
5. Laughter is the best medicine.
recently bumped into an acquaintance that
I hadn't seen in several years and as we chatted he commented, "I've been thinking
about getting started on an exercise program."
I had to smile
internally when he asked where our health club was located. The irony of
this question is that we had been waiting for him to get started for 11
reminded me of
the days preceding my heart bypass surgery. My intentions to
change my lifestyle were
sincere but I felt that there just wasn't enough time left over to
exercise after doing all of the
"important" things. My motto was. "Anything worth doing is worth putting off."
If I got the desire to exercise I would lay
down until it went away. Experience has taught me that there are a lot
of you out there who need to stop thinking about becoming more active and actually do
something about it.
"The possession of facts is knowledge, the use of
them is wisdom."
If you are one of the "elite 10%" of people
who exercise on a regular basis I think you will still enjoy this article
Are your heart
to send you a message?
Our Creator has
hardwired the human brain with the instinct for survival. So far this
system has worked pretty well for me. I've survived a six-way heart
bypass operation for 14 years and have far more energy and endurance now
than in my pre-op life.
After a recent physical exam, Dr. Gallery, my
family physician commented, "I want to compliment you on your good
Everyone isn’t so
fortunate. According to the American Heart Association there are 1.2
million heart attacks per year, nearly half occurring in women.
more than 30% of
these victims the first sign of a problem is sudden death.
that this news may be interpreted as a little bit negative but I assure
you that my intentions are not to scare you. As Hercule Poirot, my
favorite Belgium detective, would say, I just want to get your "little
gray cells" stirring around.
Walter Bortz, MD,
noted author and expert on aging at Stanford University gives us some food for
"As a physician, I have watched with astonishment as my
patients actively avoided all manner of preventive health care. Our
instincts for indulgence and self destruction seem more deeply ingrained
than our hopes for longer lives."
The good doctor
hit it right on the nose. I’m sitting here at my computer trying to
figure out how I can convince you to do something that you know is good
for you but you find a host of excuses why you don't do it.
My track record in this type of
activity is less than perfect. When our kids were growing up I tried a
variety of techniques, strategies and tricks to help them avoid some of
the mistakes that I have made; usually without much success. It seems
that most of us have to learn our lessons the hard way.
Borowitz does a good job of describing why so many of us procrastinate
when it comes to exercise.
"Whenever you run into a statistic that says
only 10% of the people are doing what almost everybody knows is good for
them, look for an underlying bio-logical reason."
observes that the basic reason why people don't exercise is so simple it
is often overlooked. "It is unnatural to move and expend calories for no
immediate apparent reason. It’s natural and effortless to move out of
the way of a charging tiger, but it strikes our brain as 'senseless' to
move now in order to get fit or lose weight some time in the future."
Our brain blocks out
anything that it does not perceive to be an immediate danger, and our
Creator has given our bodies so much extra capacity that we seem to be
getting by with our errant lifestyle.
Dr. Bortz describes
the state of affairs brilliantly.
"Our arteries don't give us any
warning sign until it’s almost too late. We can start with 100% capacity
and give away 50% ‘wildly nilly’. We give away another 10% and still
‘seem O.K.’ Another 10%, down to 30% of original and we experience some
shortness of breath. Before the doctor is seen 70% of capacity is gone,
and only a few percentage points separate the individual from the
That's the bad news.
The good news is that the renewal capacity of life is one of its
wonders. We are improvable, and redeemable, no matter what our age or
how we may have neglected our bodies in the past.
A well designed
exercise program can slash your risk of dying of a heart attack or
stroke to a small fraction of your non-exercising friends. Your blood
pressure and cholesterol will improve, blood sugar will stabilize, your
energy will skyrocket, excess body fat will begin to melt away and you
will feel better than you have in years!
with your "extreme health makeover" today. Your revitalized body will
say, "Thank you, thank you, thank you!"
revised web pages
1. Blood Pressure
2. The Cholesterol Heart Disease Puzzle
Are you aware of these heart attack risk factors?
.....There are many "risk factors" that contribute to heart
disease/heart attacks and it makes good sense to reduce as many of them
as possible. Most physicians concentrate on just LDL
cholesterol, however the latest research indicates that inflammation of
the arteries is a more important risk.
Inflammation is easily measured by having your doctor add two items
to your next blood test; homocysteine and CRP levels.
are interested in a comprehensive blood test that measures not only
inflammation but a number of other risk factors there is a link to the
Berkeley Heart Lab on the Heart Health For
Life home page.
Read Your Labels!
One of my "pet peeves" is how little attention
the medical establishment gives to the danger of trans fats, which
are far more dangerous than saturated fats.
In the ongoing Nurses Health Study each 2% increase in trans fat consumption
converted to a whopping 93% increase in coronary heart disease!
If the ingredients
on the label include "partially hydrogenated oil" this means it contains trans fats,
which are recognized as a foreign substance by your body.
These "killer" fats are formed by pumping
hydrogen into an oil to make it solid and increase the shelf life. This
process changes the molecular structure and turns a perfectly good oil
into a toxic product.
Any oil heated to a high
temperature for deep frying (as in French fries) is loaded with trans
fat...even if it is canola, corn or soybean oil. In our next newsletter we will discuss the
healthiest oil for cooking.
Laughter is the Best
Some good questions.
.....Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the
batteries are flat?
.....Why do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know
there is not enough?
.....Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion
stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
.....Why doesn't glue stick to the bottle?
.....Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?
.....Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?
.....What is the speed of dark?
An Irish Story
.....A man stumbles up
to the only other patron in a bar and asks if he could buy him a drink.
....."Why of course," comes the reply.
.....The first man then asks: "Where are you from?"
....."I'm from Ireland," replies the second man.
.....The first man responds: "You don't say, I'm from Ireland too! Let's
have another round to Ireland."
....."Of Course," replies the second man. Curious, the first man then
asks: "Where in Ireland are you from?" "Dublin," comes the reply.
....."I can't believe it," says the first man. "I'm from Dublin too!
Let's have another drink to Dublin."
....."Of course," replies the second man. Curiosity again strikes and
the first man asks: "What school did you go to?"
....."Saint Mary's," replies the second man. "I graduated in '62."
....."This is unbelievable!" the first man says. "I went to Saint Mary's
and I graduated in '62, too!"
.....About that time in comes one of the regulars and sits down at the
....."What's been going on?" he asks the bartender. "Nothing much,"
replies the bartender. "The O'Malley twins are drunk again."
.....Have a GREAT day.......and keep Laughing.
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