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Swimming makes my heart pitter-patter!

We all know that swimming for exercise is great to burn calories and great cardiovascular exercise; but how great is it?  How does it compare to the weight loss go-to…running.  I have to admit I was surprised.

For me personally, I run because it burns calories to keep my clothes fitting.  Not because I love feeling the pavement under my feet or   the sweat running down my back.  Swimming though…I love swimming!  It is relaxing, calming, and you don’t feel so nasty and sweaty afterwards.   Every time I decide I am gonna use my time at the gym swimming, I feel like I am indulging and then feel guilty that I did not run off 400 calories on the treadmill.  Well, that is all gone now!

Why is swimming so amazing?

Swimming works your cardiovascular system and therefore makes your body more efficient at using oxygen…which makes your heart work easier.   As you get better and can swim longer your resting heart rate will get better too!    When you are swimming you are working every single muscle which will tone and strengthen your muscles.   There is also a low risk of injury because you are not straining joint or ligaments.   Not to mention the healing properties that water seems to give.  But this tops the cake!  Did you know…and I admit I did not.   Swimming can burn the same amount of calories that running at 6 mph!  SERIOUSLY!  On a great day I run 9 or 10 mph…and that’s bookin it :).

For me, swimming is now a huge part of  my workout routine!  I would love to hear your swimming experiences!

Have a Heart Healthy Day!

Kristi Krouse

Our New Face!

Heart Smart CPR and American Heart Association has an announcement to make!

Healthy eating tips

 Great news!  Heart Smart CPR and the American Heart Association have an announcement!  The  AHA has new healthy eating tips to make healthy eating easier for your busy schedule at Subway!  When you see the logo above you know the American Heart Association approves!

I am sure you have seen this logo at the supermarket, now you can count on it when you don’t have nutritional information readily available at Subway.  For me personally, I love the fresh ingredients that Subway uses, but I always wonder about the sauces, now there is no doubt.  Way to go American Heart Association!  Thanks for making my busy life a bit easier.  Below is a list of foods that the AHA have given the stamp of approval at Subway.

  • All SUBWAY FRESH FIT® sandwich meals that include apples slices and water
  • All SUBWAY FRESH FIT FOR KIDS™ meals that include apple slices and low fat milk
  • 9 salads with Sweet Onion Dressing that include apple slices and water

Have a Heart Healthy Day!

Kristi Krouse

 

The Ups and Downs of Arrhythmia

heart arrhythmiaFirst, what is a heart arrhythmia?

The heart has a perfect beat, not to fast, not to slow…if it wavers off, it is considered an arrhythmia; simple as that!  There are different kinds of arrhythmia’s, but lets keep it simple.

–  Tachycardia: heart is to fast.

–  Bradycardia: heart is to slow.

Arrhythmia’s are then identified by where they are happening in the heart; atria or ventricles.

You can have an atrial or ventricular arrhythmia.

Don’t get me wrong, this is very simplified, there are many other layers, but this is the basics.

Now, why does all of this matter?

Well, when your heart is not working correctly oxygen is not pumped to your major organs such as your brain.  This is when a condition with such a crazy name becomes as simple as life or death.    So how do we know if we are at risk of having a heart arrhythmia that will challenge your health?

A heart attack is the most important factor making someone a prone suspect.

If you have suffered a heart attack you are probably under doctor care and have regular EKG’s to monitor your heart.  But what if you have not had such a severe warning, what are some signs or symptoms?

–  fainting or dizziness

–  dificulty breathing

–  fatigue

–  “fluttering heart” feeling

–  flopping in your chest

–  thumping in your chest

–  chest pain

These are just a few, and if you suspect any of them, please seek medical help to begin monitoring your health.  There are many ways to treat and manage an arrhythmia.  Some are medications, pacemakers and keeping a record of your pulse.  Above all when in doubt follow your gut and see your doctor…then follow his/her advice.

Have a Heart Healthy Day!

Kristi Krouse

 

Mothers Day for a Cause!

It is almost Mothers day! I hope you are ready! Check out what Macy’s is doing for us to celebrate Mother’s Day.  You can send mom a card via Macy’s Facebook page and they will donate $3 to your favorite charity!  I of course am hoping you will choose Go Red for Women, after all it is Mother’s Day!  This does not cost you a penny, they are donating  and all you have to do is send a card!  Here is the link, go check it out!  You can send me one too while you are at it, let the donations begin!  Come check out a class with me at Heart Smart CPR!

Benefits of Donating Blood…for the Donor?!?

Yes! You heard me correct, there are many benefits of donating blood; especially for men and post menopausal women!
We all know that donating blood is very beneficial to the recipients.  But do you know how much?  Check this out…

Benefits of donating blood

  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • More than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day.
  • A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year in the U.S. (2006).
  • The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 pints.
  • The blood type most often requested by hospitals is Type O.  Type O-negative blood (red cells) can be transfused to patients of all blood types. It is always in great demand and often in short supply.
  • The blood used in an emergency is already on the shelves before the event occurs.
  • Sickle cell disease affects more than 80,000 people in the U.S., 98 percent of whom are African American. Sickle cell patients can require frequent blood transfusions throughout their lives.
  • More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
  • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.

So what are the benefits of donating blood?    When you are donating blood, you are removing some of the iron the blood has in it. High iron levels in your blood can increase your risk of heart disease. Iron is known to speed the oxidation process of cholesterol, which is thought to possibly increase damage to your (very important) arteries.  This can lead to the all know CVD; cardiovascular disease and make you more susceptible to a heart attack, stroke, etc. Men who donate benefit even more than women simply because women have monthly mensuration which releases iron.

According to Victor Herbert, M.D in a CNN article., a hematologist at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, there are normally about 1,000 milligrams of iron stored in the average adult mans body but only about 300 milligrams in a premenopausal womans. Once women stop menstruating, however, their iron levels and their heart disease risk begin to climb, eventually matching that of men.

So how does donating blood work?  I have to be honest, I have never donated…and I have blood type…wait for it…O-.  Yep, most needed, most often in short supply, and if that was not enough, here comes my guilt…

  • Only 7 percent of people in the U.S. have O-negative blood type. O-negative blood type donors are universal donors as their blood can be given to people of all blood types.
  • Type O-negative blood is needed in emergencies before the patient’s blood type is known and with newborns who need blood.
  • Children being treated for cancer, premature infants and children having heart surgery need blood and platelets from donors of all types, especially type O-.

They had me at newborns…

No worries, I am making the trip to the blood bank!

So here is how it all works; or so they tell me.  Guess I will find out soon enough.

  • Donating blood is a safe process. A sterile needle is used only once for each donor and then discarded.
  • Blood donation is a simple four-step process: registration, medical history and mini-physical, donation and refreshments.
  • Every blood donor is given a mini-physical, checking the donor’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin to ensure it is safe for the donor to give blood.
  • The actual blood donation typically takes less than 10-12 minutes. The entire process, from the time you arrive to the time you leave, takes about an hour and 15 min.
  • The average adult has about 10 pints of blood in his body. Roughly 1 pint is given during a donation.
  • A healthy donor may donate red blood cells every 56 days, or double red cells every 112 days.
  • A healthy donor may donate platelets as few as 7 days apart, but a maximum of 24 times a year.
  • All donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases before it can be released to hospitals.
  • Information you give to the American Red Cross during the donation process is confidential. It may not be released without your permission except as directed by law.

I could not believe it!  The actual needle part only takes 10 to 15 minutes!  I had no idea; they should advertise this.

So let me get this straight… I donate, I loose iron I don’t need, gain heart health, get a free physical, free snacks, (adult time…I am a mom of 3 wonderful children), and I could save up to 3 lives…why have I not done this.  After all I have been through labor 3 times; this has to be easier!

Well, I hope to see you there!

Donating blood

Have a Heart Healthy Day!
Kristi Krouse

Your Heart and Beer…Happy St. Patricks Day!

Alright so don’t think I am going all crazy with alcohol news, but I thought it appropriate to have a blog relating to beer for St. Patty’s Day.  I was wondering if there are differences between how red wine effects the heart vs. beer.  The ADA or the American Dietetic Association has quite a bit to say about the subject.  Here is a quote!

“Red wine enjoys a reputation for sophistication and health benefits, but as interest in artisan brewing gains momentum and emerging research reveals unique nutrition properties, beer is finding redemption not only as a classy libation with deep roots in many cultures, but as a beverage with benefits,” said registered dietitian and ADA spokesperson Andrea Giancoli in a news release.”

I was intrigued!  There actually is very similar health benefits to beer as there is to wine.

Whether you prefer wine, beer or liquor, people who drink one to two alcoholic drinks of any kind are less likely to suffer from heart disease according to a 2008 Journal of the American Dietetic Association article. Experts believe alcohol improves heart health by making blood less sticky so it’s less likely to clot by increasing levels of “good” HDL cholesterol while lowering unhealthy LDL cholesterol.

So what are some suggestions?  First, limit your consumption; this is not a go-ahead to revisit your college days in hopes of gaining health; I assure you it will do just the opposite.  So stick with (assuming your Doctor agrees) one or two glasses a day…or night…once the kids are in bed.  The great thing is that you can have one beer and it be a treat at the end of a good eating, healthy portioned, veggie packed day.  If you get light beer it will only cost ya 100 calories!  Works for me!  Then to top it off its full of fiber; anywhere from .75 to 1.3 grams per 12 ounce bottle.  But wait…there is more!  Beer has also been tested to see if it could actually strengthen your bones.

 In a Tufts University study, men who drank between one to two beers a day had hip bone densities three-and-a-half to four-and-a-half times greater than teetotalers.

Last but not least, it is yummy!  Well not for everyone…in that case read on to my wine blog post!   Check out this video from fox news!

I am no Doctor, but there are quite a few options if a beer a day is not something you would like to commit to.  To be honest, me personally, this is something I could not do.  Pizza…yea, but everyday?!?  Chocolate, now that is something I could do everyday; portion control is my problem!  So here is an option, check with your Doctor first, but I have been looking into this:

Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful Saint Patrick’s Day, and drink only one or two GREEN beers!  

 

 

Have a heart healthy day!
Kristi Krouse

Reverse Heart Disease?!?

I recently found a video by Dr. Oz (one of my hero’s ..ahhh) on his show explaining how to REVERSE heart disease! What a concept, I thought! Is this possible? During his show and on the video Dr. Oz interviews Dr. Dean Ornish who claims that there is a life changing 4 step plan that can indeed reverse heart disease without surgery. That really the cure to heart disease is in your hands not your surgeons.

For over 32 years, Dr. Ornish has been an integral member of medicine’s clinical research community. He is a pioneer who demonstrated for the first time that lifestyle changes could reverse even severe coronary heart disease. If you have heart disease and are not in need of emergency surgery, such as bypass, angioplasty or stent placement, you can reverse your heart disease by eliminating the behaviors that have contributed to your condition, and picking up healthy new habits. You may need what Dr. Ornish calls a “pound of cure” (as opposed to an “ounce of prevention”). This means making big – and sustainable — changes to your diet, exercise routine and approach to stress management. Start getting better today with Dr. Ornish’s 4-step plan to reverse your heart disease. For those who don’t have heart disease, there is a wide spectrum of preventive choices you can make to live healthily.

I would honestly bet that you are already guessing at least 2 of these steps, but it is worth your time to check out what he has to say…if you love your heart at least :).

 

How amazing is that!

Here is someone it has worked for!

I love the idea of starting to reverse heart disease without surgery in a month!  Even more; knowing I can postpone heart issues for my children if I implement these steps into my whole family!  I love it!  Make healthy heart habits for my children now so they will carry them for the rest of their lives…and I will have a healthy heart so I can watch it all happen.  Love it!

Want…Need more details?

Check out his book! Click on the pic and it will take you right to it!

reverse heart disease

 

Have a Heart Healthy Day!
Kristi Krouse

Drink yourself Heart Healthy?!?

red wine heart benefitsRed Wine Heart Benefits

So the question is:  Red Wine, is it good for your heart? The big answer: Mabe?!? Basically there are antioxidants called resveratrol and flavonoids naturally found in the wine.  So yes antioxidants are great for you, but why wine?  Is this just an excuse to drink wine, and if so, how much per day do you need to drink to benefit from the antioxidants? After researching myself, I basically found that yes all wine contains antioxidants.  Red wine has more antioxidants because it is fermented longer with the grape skins.  But, (yes there is a but) if you truly are drinking the wine for the antioxidants, you can simply eat grapes or drink grape juice.  There are many other foods that have antioxidants too!  Examples are:

red wine heart benefits  

My conclusion is; if you are drinking wine because you want a glass of wine, then you are adding to your daily list of antioxidants, enjoy!  Yay, two birds, one stone.  If you are drinking wine for the antioxidants it would be better to have a bowl of fruit salad.

So don’t drink for your health, drink to it!

Have a Heart Healthy Day!

Kristi

Your Heart is as Healthy as the Food You Eat!

healthy heart dietMy mom always said “you are what you eat,” but is it true?  If so, how does it affect your heart?

The answer is KINDA?!?

Perhaps, “you feel how you eat” should be the new phrase?  (although when I eat a doughnut I feel like it is literally stuck to my back-end)

In order to have a healthy heart diet we need to take a look at the details of our diet.

You see, if you get down to the nitty gritty, food is fuel for the body.  Just like cars, if you give your car the best fuel, they run better and longer.  If we eat foods that cause our hearts to pump faster and work harder we damage our heart tissue and it gives out.

Have you ever eaten an unhealthy meal and even though it tasted delectable, you felt horrible afterwards?  Tired and sluggish?  I will be honest, I certainly have.  Basically when you eat, your body breaks down the food and absorbs it into the blood stream, which delivers the vitamins and minerals to your tissues.  If you eat a healthy heart diet, including healthy food with vitamins you are re-energized, but if you give your body fat and salt your body is left starving for energy.

Here are some links to some sites that I think would be worth a look!

 

 

Take the Fat and Salt Explorer test here.  Then check out the heart test below!  Happy testing!

 

 

Enjoy a healthy heart diet today!