Tag Archives: exercise

Please! No more bragging about mountain climbing!

29 Jan

by Carolyn Thomas      @HeartSisters

One of the things I love most about writing this blog is hearing directly from my readers. I already knew that Heart Sisters attracts the smartest, funniest, and wisest readers ever, of course, but this comment from Charlotte in response to one of my articles really struck a chord for me. I’ve written before about this particular issue (i.e. why trotting out all those “inspiring” survivors to talk about their amazing post-recovery achievements can actually leave me feeling not so much inspired, but inadequate). Here’s how she says it so much better. (Thank you, Charlotte!) Continue reading

In praise of solitude after a heart attack

18 Sep

by Carolyn Thomas  ♥  @HeartSisters


“Others inspire us, information feeds us, practice improves our performance, but we need quiet time to figure things out, to emerge with new discoveries, to unearth original answers.”

This wise counsel is from Dr. Ester Buchholz, author of The Call of Solitude.  She describes solitude like this as “meaningful alone-time” – a powerful need and a necessary tonic in today’s rapid-fire world. Indeed, she maintains that solitude “actually allows us to connect to others in a far richer way”.

She likely didn’t write that as specific advice for those of us living with heart disease, but it struck me when I read her words that, although they are probably very true for all women, they are especially applicable to heart patients.

Indeed, maybe our heart health would actually improve if we were more determined to carve out more ‘me-time’ during the average day.  Continue reading

Were you “born to walk”?

8 Feb
Dr. James Beckerman talks to one of his 'Heart To Start' groups in Portland

Cardiologist Dr. James Beckerman leads one of his ‘Heart To Start’ groups in Portland

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

“Physicians, get out your prescription pads and prescribe this book to every one of your heart patients. This encouraging, common sense and easy-to-read book deserves to be in the hands of all freshly-diagnosed heart patients and those who love them.”

That’s the little blurb I wrote for Oregon cardiologist Dr. James Beckerman’s new book, Heart To Start.*  As explained in last week’s book excerpt published here, Dr. B believes that heart disease is essentially a sitting disease.  To rally against that, he embraces a profound belief that “exercise is medicine”  – and this is especially important for all of us heart patients. In fact, he believes that physical exercise is the least prescribed yet most effective heart treatment. Far too many of us, however, get little or no regular physical activity – particularly while recuperating from a cardiac event – and instead insist on doing something that just might be dangerous to our health: we sit.  

But Dr. Beckerman believes that what we most need to do is to move more. We were “born to walk”, he reminds us. And even if we weren’t born to walk, we sure weren’t born to be sitting around all day.   Continue reading

Heart disease is a sitting disease

1 Feb

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

When Oregon cardiologist Dr. James Beckerman sent me a copy of his new book called Heart To Start and asked me to review it, I agreed – but I have to tell you that it took me a month to actually open it and read it. These days, I’m often invited to review heart-related books of fairly dubious quality, so I tend to be a wee bit wary when taking on another review. But I’d already been following Dr. B for some time on Twitter, and I’d even quoted him in this 2013 blog article – so part of me really, really hoped I would like his new book.

But I was wrong. By the end of the first chapter, I realized that I didn’t like this book.  I loved it!  Continue reading

Let’s make our day harder – not easier!

1 Nov

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

Canadian physician Dr. Mike Evans – known to 3.6 million people as the creator of the video-gone-viral 23 1/2 Hours – has done it again. Here’s his 4-minute take on what he calls our “generational case of sitting disease”.  In a modern world obsessed with making things easier, consider his new movement to start making each day harder for better health – especially important in both preventing and treating cardiovascular disease.  Watch it now – Enjoy . . .

Q:  How have you built in little ways to make your day a bit harder?

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Making heart-healthy decisions: are you on autopilot?

5 Dec

by Carolyn Thomas

With rare exception (like the stupid woman I witnessed at the Minneapolis airport pouring Coca-Cola into her child’s baby bottle), most thinking adults already know perfectly well what’s good and bad for our bodies. Yet we continue to smoke, eat too much (of the wrong foods) and exercise too little.  A recent study suggests that instead of swamping us with health reminders to eat better and exercise more, public health initiatives should actually try targeting the knee-jerk behaviours that are making us fatter and sicker.*

This study, published in the journal Science, found that part of the problem is that current public health initiatives are still focused on educating us about what decisions we should and shouldn’t be making to improve health outcomes – as if we are actively contemplating the pros and cons of making each decision.  Trouble is, most of us are not.  Continue reading