Monday, April 16, 2012

De-Stress on tax day and help your heart

Although it comes two days later than usual, tax day is upon us tomorrow, April 17. Hopefully, you've already filed your taxes, but if you're caught in a last-minute rush, remember to take a moment.

You see, stress kills. When I first started writing about heart disease several years ago, it was very difficult to get the cardiology community to take stress seriously, but that's no longer true. If stress was considered at all, it was viewed as a contributing factor. The thought was that, if you were under stress, you might smoke more, eat the wrong foods, and let exercise slide.

This is still true, but now we recognize that, when we are faced with sudden stress, your body pumps out certain stress hormones, like adrenalin and cortisol, which hikes blood pressure, speeds up the heart, and can even result in a heart attack. Witness the increase in heart attacks after an earthquake, or other natural disaster.

But chronic stress plays a deadly role as well. When you are under chronic stress, your levels of these hormones remain elevated, and this can contribute to high blood pressure and high cholesterol, both which can result in heart disease.

So don't stress - celebrate tax day by being good to yourself. I will be at my gym, Equinox South Beach, which is offering a free Tax De-Stress Yoga Class from 7-8:15 p.m. for members and non-members alike. If you're in my area, join me.

If you're not, pamper yourself. Get a message, a facial, hit the gym for a workout (exercise is a wonderful stress reliever) and remember, you can have time to file an extension tomorrow.

More info: Equinox

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New Study on Heart Health Proves "Use it or Lose it"

I don't know about you, but today comes news from the American College of Cardiology that I'm using to power my desire to exercise, when I head over to my gym, Equinox South Beach.

This comes from a new study which shows that regular physical exercise not only provides all the benefits we usually associate with it, but it also helps prevent your heart by growing weaker with age.

The study, presented this week at the American College of Cardiology's 60th Annual Scientific session, was the first to look at the effects of varying levels of lifelong exercise on heart mass. It showed that even elderly people who regularly exercised had hearts that were similar in mass to non-exercisers who were decades younger.

The study focused on heart muscle size, which peaks early in life and diminishes as you age. This kind of diminishing causes the heart muscle to stiffen, leading to a certain type of heart failure common in older people.

Other interesting findings this study turned up included the fact that the more exercise, the better. The elderly people whose hearts were the fittest were those who were committed exercisers (4-5 times a week) and master athletes (6-7 times a week).

So this means no more wimpy 2-3 times a week exercising for me -- I'll be at Equinox South Beach almost every day! See you in the kettle bell class!

More info: Andreas Heuser, Equinox Membership Advisor, 305-673-1172

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Heart Health Party at Miami's Equinox Fitness Clubs

February is heart month, and so the three Miami area Equinox Fitness Clubs are holding a special evening event to showcase heart health. Plus, if you wear red, you can partake in special discounts. The event takes place at the on Monday, Feb. 28 from 6-9 p.m. at the three area clubs: South Beach, Coral Gables and Aventura.

"We love our members, and we care about them, so we want them to lead healthier lives," said Alicia Lee, Equinox's special events coordinator.

At the Coral Gables Equinox, two cardiologists and a dietician from South Miami Hospital will be on hand to give presentations. At the other two clubs, written material and other visuals will be presented. Chair massages will also be featured at all the clubs.

Trainers at all of the clubs will offer blood pressure screenings all day, and evening fitness classes will focus on cardiovascular fitness. In addition, patrons will be given special offers on VAP cholesterol testing, which offers more detailed information than standardized tests, and Vitamin B-12 shots, which they can obtain at a later time.

In addition, people who wear red will receive a 20 percent discount at the club's retail shop, and be entered in a raffle for spa services. Heart healthy snacks will also be offered, and donations will be taken on behalf of the American Heart Association.

For more information on Equinox, call Andreas Heuser, 305-673-1172

Monday, February 21, 2011

Preventing Heart Disease in Women: Seminar on heart health and more on Feb. 24 in Dor...

Preventing Heart Disease in Women: Seminar on heart health and more on Feb. 24 in Dor...: "February is heart month, and so I've asked two of the country's top motivational speakers to join me in a two of the country's top motivatio..."

Seminar on heart health and more on Feb. 24 in Doral

February is heart month, and so I've asked two of the country's top motivational speakers to join me in a two of the country's top motivational speakers to join me in a special seminar this Thursday, Feb. 24, in Doral, Fla.

Entitled "Keys to Success: Health, Courage and Living the Golden Life," I, along with Success Coach Lisa Jimenez and popular TV Host Lorna Owens, will speak on how women can regain their balance, take control, and get the most out of their lives.

My talk, "Healthy Heart/Healthy Body: It's that Simple" contains the message that I recently brought to the US Army War College, which trains the military elite. I've also spoken at Duke Medical Center, the University of Connecticut Medical Center, the Women in International Trade Miami Chapter, and at more than 50 hospitals and organizations around the country.

Lisa will speak on "Fighting Fear," which helps explore the hidden fears and self-limiting beliefs that may be holding you back, and she shows you how to break through and manifest success. She's built a multi-million dollar business and has sold over 1/4 million copies of her book "Conquering Fear."

Once a successful lawyer, Lorna decided to turn her life around and follow her dream, which is empowering other women. She's now a top strategist, life coach and author, who speaks around the world. She also hosts a live, popular women's program, "The Women's Institute," each second Saturday of the month at the Ritz Carlton in Coconut Grove, and she's the founder of the Footprints Foundation, working in Democratic Republic of Congo.

For details, click here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Protecting your heart with fiber helps protect your whole body, study shows

I'm just back from my Valentine's Day speaking engagement at the U.S. Army War College, which was an unforgettable experience. I got to give my message "Protect Your Heart, Protect Your Life --It's that Simple," to more than 100 of our country's finest military officers and spouses. I will write more about my experience at this historic site in the coming days.

Returning today, though, I logged on and found fresh news this morning that points out my key message -- that when you take action to keep your heart happy, your whole body is better off. This comes from a new government-funded study, which shows that eating fiber, which helps prevent heart disease, also helps you live longer. And, while the results were good for both men and women, the effect was even more pronounced in women.

The study, reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that high intakes of fiber were associated with 24 to 56 percent reduction in cardiovascular, infectious and respiratory diseases in men and 34 to 59 percent in women. The association was found with dietary fiber from grains, but not from other sources like fruits.

So here's another reason to up your fiber intake. Just be careful and do it slowly, so your body can have time to adjust to it, or you may find your stomach speaking up in ways you don't appreciate!

As an award-winning author, national speaker, and the founder of National Women's Heart Health Day, I speak to to hospitals and organizations on preventing heart disease in women and men. I'd love to bring my message to your organization, so just click on my website, or email me at

Saturday, February 12, 2011