Cardiac Champs is a self-help book that teaches people with heart disease, particularly heart attack survivors, how to live a healthy, vigorous, happy life while effectively managing the emotional turmoil that so often accompanies heart disease.
This second edition of the award winning Finalist in the 2010 USA Book News Awards includes significant enhancement of the chapters on nutrition and exercise along with further suggestions to help you effectively navigate the medical system.
Dr. McConnell's doctoral degree in counselling psychology from McGill University and his personal history with heart disease give him a unique perspective into the psychosocial effects of living with heart disease; a perspective he says is noticeably absent in treating the disease. He thinks the huge emphasis placed on such things as smoking cessation, cholesterol levels and prescription drugs is often at the expense of important psychosocial issues. He claims the real struggle comes with fighting anxiety and anger, trying to alter unhealthy eating patterns, coping with lifestyle disruptions, and for many, insomnia: all of which are discussed in depth in Cardiac Champs.
Dr. McConnell wisely uses humour and optimism to avoid any cathartic outpouring as he maps out his program to conquer anger, chronic worry, panic attacks, poor eating habits and the perpetual fear of death. Even his treatment of traditional heart health issues such as diet and exercise is rather novel as he emphasizes choice and variety over authoritarian medical prescriptions. His unique perspective certainly comes through loud and clear when he discusses his approach to physicians, 'They are consultants not managers;' to alcohol, 'Enjoy your beer;' and to anger, 'Don't get angry, don't get mad, and don't get even.' Cardiac Champs is a must read for anyone interested in adopting a realistic plan to control the 'emotional luggage' so often associated with the various forms of heart disease.
"He begins the book by addressing the heart attack survivor's loved ones, as if they've just arrived mid-crisis at the hospital. He simply and effectively walks them through what to expect in the emergency room, then in the intensive care unit"
Vancouver Sun & Ottawa Citizen
"His book gives practical advice and exercises about how to deal with anxiety. That includes a two week chart that reinforces the idea that these (i.e.anxiety symptoms) are things that aren't that dangerous."
St. Catherines Standard & Simcoe Reformer
"Unlike most books on heart attack recovery, Cardiac Champs is packed with practical guidance for dealing with the psychological trauma most heart attack survivors experience."
The Valley Breeze
"By 1986, the year after his second heart attack, McConnell had used his background as a psychologist to reinvent himself from a "cardiac survivor" to a "cardiac champ."
The Observer & Sault Star
"(a) book full of great advice for cardiac survivors.......given the rate of heart disease in Canada, it's a book that should be in wide circulation"
The Calgary Herald & Windsor Star
"This focus on the mental and emotional aspects of recovery is unique. Indeed, the entire book is marked by innovation. It is even evident in the chapters concerned with traditional heart health issues such as diet and exercise."
"An emotional take on heart disease.......retired psychologist says physical factors are vitally important, but don't overlook the mental issues."
"Dr. Larry McConnell's style is excellently suited towards motivational studies, and will teach students the material clearly without overcomplicating the subject."
"McConnell, who outlines 'systematic' steps to serenity in his book,".... includes The Anger Barometer, "an anger questionnaire designed to help people recognize the emotion so hurtful to themselves and others."
Halifax Chronicle H