Archive | November 2016

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

“A study, “Heavy Meals May Trigger Heart Attacks,”. This study, which focused on nearly 2,000 former heart attack patients, found that 10 percent of them suffered a coronary within 26 hours of eating a heavy meal.”

Francisco Lopez-Jimenez MD and the Director of the Cardio-metabolic Program at the Mayo Clinic, this program was led by this MD.

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

“People often change their eating habits during the holidays,”.   For those with congestive heart failure [CHF], salty foods can cause fluid retention and high blood pressure, which place addeded stress on an already weakened heart.”

Dr. Anne Riley, a cardiologist at BIDMC.

The holiday season and how it impacts the heart with increasing the risk of heart attacks!

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It’s the holiday season—cardiac patients not careful in eating but indulging in junk food may put you at high risk for a bomb to go off in the heart=heart attack.

While colder weather may play a role, studies have shown that the spike in heart events during the holiday season occurs even in It’s no secret that holiday celebrations offer many temptations to overindulge. Many holiday foods are high in saturated fats or sodium. Overindulgence in these foods can increase cholesterol levels or blood pressure, making it more difficult for blood to flow through arteries and upping the chance of a blockage. What you may not know is that eating a heavy holiday meal may affect you even after you’ve pushed away from the table. “Research shows that anyone with coronary-artery disease or high cholesterol has a heightened risk for heart attack for up to one day after eating a heavy meal,” said Mittleman. Mittleman participated in a study, “Heavy Meals May Trigger Heart Attacks,” led by Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, MD, currently the Director of the Cardio-metabolic Program at the Mayo Clinic. This study, which focused on nearly 2,000 former heart attack patients, found that 10 percent of them suffered a coronary within 26 hours of eating a heavy meal.

“People often change their eating habits during the holidays,” said Dr. Anne Riley, a cardiologist at BIDMC. “For those with congestive heart failure [CHF], salty foods can cause fluid retention and high blood pressure, which place added stress on an already weakened heart.”

Your heart may leap with delight at the electronic gizmo or emerald bracelet that you’ve just unwrapped from under the Christmas tree. But you can’t say the same for that nasty holiday surprise known as the “Merry Christmas coronary” or “Happy Hanukkah heart attack.”

For many years, researchers have been intrigued by a disturbing pattern: Deadly heart attacks increase during the winter holiday season. One study even found distinct spikes around Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Reading Facts About Heart Health and Heart Disease:

“We certainly know that there are certain risk factors for coronary artery disease. There’s obviously smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemia [high cholesterol], diabetes, lack of exercise, and age,” says Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD, a researcher at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles and a professor at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.

“But we’re also learning that there are certain triggers for cardiovascular events,” he adds, “including time of the year and seasons. If we can get a true handle on the seasonal variation, we could knock down death from coronary disease.”

Coronary artery disease stems from atherosclerosis, a condition in which fatty plaques narrow the arteries to the heart. When a plaque ruptures, it can trigger a blood clot that leads to a heart attack.

In a national 2004 study published in Circulation, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, and Tufts University School of Medicine examined 53 million U.S. death certificates from 1973 to 2001. They discovered an overall increase of 5% more heart-related deaths during the holiday season. When researchers looked at individual years, they found varying increases in cardiac deaths for every holiday period they studied, except two.

Doctors have long known that cold weather is hard on the heart. Blood vessels constrict, which raises blood pressure. Blood also clots more readily. Frigid temperatures increase strain on the heart, and too much physical exertion can worsen the burden and trigger a heart attack. For example, doctors have treated many patients whose heart attacks followed strenuous snow shoveling.

Not to put a damper on holiday frivolity, but heart attacks increase during winter. For one reason, cold weather is tough on the heart. Blood vessels constrict, which causes blood pressure to rise. Additionally, blood clots more easily. (I’m getting this info, by the way, from the boldface link a sentence or two ago).

“People tend to consume much more fat, salt, sugar, and alcohol during the holiday season,” says Roberto Wayhs, MD, chief of cardiology at Methodist Charlton Medical Center. “Also, people tend to be less active due to the cooler weather. Overindulgence of food and alcohol along with inactivity raises the blood pressure and cholesterol levels. These risk factors combined increase your chances of having congestive heart failure, a stroke, or even a heart attack.”

To put a stop to that, or at least decrease your chances, he offers these tips:

Limit foods and beverages that are salty and/or rich. Blood pressure tends to go up the more salt you intake. Rich and sugary foods raise blood sugar levels.

Be consistent in taking your daily medications. You need them at all times of the year to maintain good health.

Get enough sleep. Sleep loss is related to weight gain, which also can affect the heart. Aim for at least seven hours.

Control your stress. “Holiday sadness adds stress,” Wayhs says. “Don’t be afraid to seek professional help if you need it.”

Limit alcohol intake.  “High alcohol intake has been linked to irregular and rapid heartbeats (atrial fibrillation) and congestive heart failure,” says Dr. Wayhs.

Maintain your normal exercise routine. “Don’t place your healthy habits on the back burner,” he says.

If you don’t have time for your usual workouts, try a shorter one.

Oh and, of course, stop smoking. But you knew that already.

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.”
~John Burroughs, “Winter Sunshine”. (April 1837 – March 29, 1921)

Snow has hit, stay inside & here are some ideas to get your heart pumping at home!

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In winter, bad weather can strike unexpectedly, causing roads to be iced over and snowy. But staying safe at home doesn’t mean you must give up being physically active. Here are some ideas to get your heart pumping at home:

  • Do some activity with the lungs. You ask how in this terrible cold weather; well here are some tips: Take a couple laps around the living room – you’ll engage your thigh and buttock muscles.
  • Try stretching. Stretch your whole body, focusing on legs, then arms, then abdomen and back having music on or wathing T.V.
  • Do pushups and crunches. Do three sets of 10 each while watching a movie or listening to music. Before you know it, you’ll be done!
  • Climb up and down stairs. Start by climbing one step at a time, then move up to two.
  • Enjoy workout videos. Check the Web, websites stream workout videos that you can watch for free.
  • Play holiday charades. Get the whole family involved with a holiday themed game of charades or if passed the holidays do regular charades based on average similar likes from TV to foods to movies, etc… Use characters like reindeer (gallop), Santa (riding his sleigh) or elves (working in the toy shop). Act out.

Ward Off the Sniffles by doing the following:

Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue instead of your hand. Remember to throw your tissue away and wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer.

  • Wash your hands. This is one of the best ways to avoid catching a cold or giving one to someone else.
  • Drink up! Be sure to stay hydrated; drink plenty of water is what I mean by drink up.
  • Get some shut-eye. Stay a step ahead of illness by getting plenty of sleep (about eight hours a night). You’ll see a difference for I surely do when I can get 8 hours sleep.

QUOTE FOR MONDAY:

“In a normal working day in modern America, there’s a sense of so much coming at you at once, so much to process that you just can’t deal with it all.”

Michael Taft (Author of The Mindful Geek, mindfulness coach, neuroscience junkie).

How the brain thinks and can even impact you during the holiday season!

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For some, the holidays are quite stressful.  Using an important concept that has a dramatic affect on your life particularly during stressful times can be very useful. In fact, this concept can literally make you smarter (or dumber) and even dictate job success.

You’ll learn why this occurs, and what you can do to reduce the problem. Plus, make connections for your kids in school and at home. The concept is grounding scientifically and let us look at tangibility for the evidence. In fact, people joke about this concept all the time. They just don’t know that it’s actually there. The mind-blowing concept that can change your life (and raise student achievement) is the following:

The Research

The key term is called “cognitive load.”

Cognitive load is the amount of stuff you’re “juggling” mentally at any given time. Humans cycle thoughts and feelings through their head all day long. There was a concept that was first proposed by John Sweller 1988, while studying problem-solving. He says that the amount of information, the complexity and the interactions that must be processed simultaneously is our “cognitive load.”

New learning can be processed in real time or overwhelm the brain based on 1) your knowledge of related background information in long-term memory, 2) the emotional context and valence, and 3) the strength of your working memory.

How can this concept make you (or your students) feel stupid, or pretty smart? You guessed it. Unless your students are prepped with strategies, long-term and short-term memory skills, they will go into “cognitive overload” and freeze up …not be able to deal with school overload to college graduates not being able to deal with the new work force to .

Here’s an example of “cognitive load issues” in the classroom. If you work with students from poverty, scarcity of resources in their lives consumes “mental space.” You know what that’s like; if you’re worried about making rent or a house payment, it constantly uses up part of your brain’s functioning power. Cognitive capacity can be stretched thin because of excessive cognitive load issues, said Harvard economist Dr. Mullainathan, part of the research team on a study in the past decade. The non-stop worry that comes with being poor, middle class constant bills with taking care or the kids and surviving in your home than holiday bills, or the rich even where all have demands constant cognitive juggling and mental energy. As a result, the poor have less brainpower to devote to school (unless you, the teacher, know how to change it).

In two countries (U.S. and India), with very different types of poverty, the researchers looked into the daily cognitive load. In both countries, the results were the same. The poor are more likely to make mistakes and make poor decisions that amplified and perpetuated their problems. The mental strain was typically costing poor people as much as 13 IQ points (Shah, Mullainathan & Shafir, 2012).

In short, TOO MUCH on your mind hurts your thinking skills and intelligence.

Here are other examples of loss in brainpower. If you feel very guilty about something you have done, you can subtract 15% of your brainpower. If you’re going to a holiday function and you’re worried about what others will think of you (instead of thinking about how you can be interested in others), you can subtract 20%. If you’re trying to prepare a holiday dinner and at the same time, you’re worried about being caught because you’re having an extramarital affair, you can subtract 50% of your brainpower. If you’re in an abusive relationship at home or being beaten every day, you can subtract 40% of your brainpower. The more things “weigh” on your mind, the less capacity you have for vitality, health and joy.

If you’re thinking of what else you could be doing right now, you just lost another 10% of brainpower. Fail to get a full night’s sleep and you can temporarily lose the amount of brainpower equal to 10 points of IQ (Wolfson & Carskadon, 2005; Killgore, Kahn-Greene, Lipizzi, Newman, Kamimori & Balkin, 2008).

In short, the more you have on your “mental plate”, or the more “plates you’re juggling in the air”, the worse your cognitive skills will be. Worry too much over the holidays (or anytime!) and you lose brainpower.  So try to enjoy the holidays and put less stress on your shoulders. Get a routine exercise, good eating healthy eating, holiday treats in control, and good rest 8 hrs a day!

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

“The American Social Health Association (ASHA) and the National Cervical Cancer Coalition have named January Cervical Health Awareness Month. “Cervical cancer was once one of the most common causes of cancer death for American women. But over the last 30 years, the cervical cancer death rate has gone down by more than 50%.”

American Cancer Society