Take a Load off Your Heart: 109 Things You Can Actually Do to Prevent, Halt and Reverse Heart Disease

Take a Load off Your Heart: 109 Things You Can Actually Do to Prevent, Halt and Reverse Heart Disease

by Joseph C. Piscatella, Barry Franklin
     
 


Increase the odds of living longer with this bold, broad approach to cardiac health. A medically up-to-the-minute and easy-to-implement program, Take a Load Off Your Heart sets our four key steps to cardiovascular fitness, from assessing risk to managing stress, from improving diet to making a habit of exercise. It demystifies predictive markers such asSee more details below

Overview


Increase the odds of living longer with this bold, broad approach to cardiac health. A medically up-to-the-minute and easy-to-implement program, Take a Load Off Your Heart sets our four key steps to cardiovascular fitness, from assessing risk to managing stress, from improving diet to making a habit of exercise. It demystifies predictive markers such as trigylcerides and Syndrome X, and offers 109 simple, practical lifestyle tips - #22 Breathe deeply, #96 Drink black tea, #3 Increase your HDL level, #54 Walk briskly, #75 Give up dieting - for preventing, stabilizing and, yes, reversing heart disease.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Piscatella (Fat-Proof Your Child), a motivational speaker who had coronary bypass surgery in 1977 at the age of 32, and Franklin (Making Healthy Tomorrows), director of a Cardiac Rehabilitation Laboratory, collaborated on this clearly written guide to preventing heart disease. Like other consumer health books on this subject, the authors recommend, in detail, nutritional strategies that will lower cholesterol, exercises designed to promote cardiovascular health and, of course, an absolute prohibition against smoking. However, what is different about their plan is the emphasis on reducing stress. According to the authors, recent research into cardiac health indicates that chronic stress not only has a direct negative impact on the heart by, for example, promoting arterial inflammation, but can also play an indirect role. Enduring daily stress frequently prevents people from finding the energy and motivation to make healthy lifestyle changes such as eating sensibly and exercising regularly. Piscatella and Franklin recommend many stress-management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, learning to laugh and taking regular vacations that will lead to a more relaxed way of life. Exercise itself has been found to be as effective as tranquilizers in alleviating tension. Included are useful self-assessment tests for those who want to monitor and improve their heart health. (Jan.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780761126768
Publisher:
Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
02/15/2003
Pages:
448
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.88(d)

Read an Excerpt


Action Steps to Manage Stress

1. VOLUNTEER. Helping others makes it harder to dwell on your own problems.

2. KEEP A JOURNAL. Try to write everyday and make sure to focus on feelings, not just facts.

3. BREATHE DEEPLY. Take a deep breath through your nose with your mouth closed. As you inhale, push out your stomach. Hold the breath for a few seconds, then expel it slowly through your mouth with you lips pursed, as if you were whistling. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes to create a state of calm.

4. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. Build a cushion into your day for the unexpected. Instead of cramming your schedule, fill it to 80%, leaving 20% for traffic jams, family illness and other surprises.

5. TRANQUILIZE WITH EXERCISE. Regular exercise burns up stress hormones and stimulates the production of endorphins and other chemicals linked to energy, mood and attention.

6. LAUGH. A good laugh - like a good workout - releases tension, produces a sense of well-being, and creates a different perspective on life and its challenges. Cultivate friends who smile and joke, put playfulness into your relationships, and leave work concerns at the office.

7. MEDITATE. Use this centuries-old technique to clear the mind and anchor it in the present. Assume a comfortable position in a quiet spot, close your eyes, and focus your mind on a word. Any word will do. Take a deep breath and slowly repeat the word in your mind, over and over again. After a while, the mind becomes quiet and a state of deep rest and relaxation is created.

8. PRACTICE POSITIVE SELF-TALK. Each of us is continually involved in self-talk, a running internal conversation that interprets events and actions. This conversation influences emotions. If the talk is negative with harmful put-downs, stress is heightened. But if self-talk is positive, it allows us to better manage stress.

9. DEVELOP RESILIENCY. No one can be successful in everything. But don't let failure define you. It isn't the failure that is important; it's how the failure is handled.

10. PRACTICE YOGA. Yoga's stretching, strengthening and meditative exercises encourage a focusing that results in reduced tension and stress.

Adapted from chapter 2 of TAKE A LOAD OFF YOUR HEART

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What People are saying about this

Gary J. Balady
This easy-to-read book takes the mystery out of heart disease...
Michael S. Lauer
Detailed, balanced, yet accessible...
William C. Roberts
If we lived by this advice, the cardiac health of Americans would skyrocket.
Gerald C. Timmis
Take a short-cut to a long life with a few hours of entertaining reading.
Steven N. Blair
A marvelous road map to heart health. The information is up-to-date and scientifically accurate. I recommend it highly.
From the Publisher
If we lived by this advice, the cardiac health of Americans would skyrocket. —William C. Roberts, M.D., Editor in Chief, American Journal of Cardiology

I was skeptical: Why one more cardiac self-help book? But then I started reading—till the very end. I could not put it down: well-written, little med-speak and entirely up-to-date and accurate. This is something I can recommend to all my patients.
—V.F. Froelicher, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Stanford University

Whether you’re trying to prevent that first heart attack or reduce your risk of a second one, Take a Load off Your Heart is the book to read. It tells you what you need to know about exercise, nutrition and handling stress—all in terms you can understanding and apply to your daily life.
—Redford Williams, M.D., Director, Behavioral Research, Duke University Medical Center

This easy-to-read book takes the mystery out of heart disease and translates the latest science into a remarkable “how-to” manual of prevention. Reliable, current and practical advice for anyone who has a beating heart!
—Gary J. Balady, M.D., Director of Preventive Cardiology, Boston Medical Center, Boston University School of Medicine

The book is comprehensive…The information is up-to-date and scientifically accurate. I recommend it highly. —Steven N. Blair, P.E.D., Director of Research, Cooper Institute

Finally, a book to tell us not just what to do—but how to do it. It’s an incredibly readable, comprehensive and up-to-date guide to the prevention of heart attack and stroke, and it belongs in every home library.
—Kathy Berra, M.S.N., N.P., Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention, Stanford Medical Center

Detailed, balanced, yet accessible…The authors have done an admirable job of presenting the science while also giving us high-quality practical advice.
—Michael S. Lauer, M.D., Director of Clinical Research, Director of Stress Laboratory, Department of Cardiology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Kathy Berra
Finally, a book to tell us not just what to do - but how to do it.

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