Staying #HealthyAtHome during the Coronavirus pandemic includes your mental health

Even if you’re not quarantined for having the COVID-19 virus, you are likely being politely, yet firmly, asked to stay at home as much as possible. While I could talk to you about how important physical activity is for your heart health, this is also the time to talk about the importance of taking care of your mental health.

Being stuck at home can lead to depression, stress, or bad habits–such as drinking, smoking, or over-eating. In turn, these can lead to higher blood pressure, lack of sleep, or higher blood sugar–all risks for a heart attack or stroke. So, here are a few simple things you can do to help exercise your brain while stuck inside. Continue reading “Staying #HealthyAtHome during the Coronavirus pandemic includes your mental health”

This simple first step will get your diet on track

How to see your diet like Neo sees the Matrix

March is National Nutrition Month. That’s a new one on me, and you may feel that the advice you read on diets, clean eating, and even balanced macros can be overwhelming.

The good news is, if you’ve been following my advice, you’ll know I’m not a fan of making dramatic changes that are daunting and unsustainable. When I started my weight loss journey, I had just one daily diet goal: eat no more than 100 net carbs per day. That was it. That was eventually maintainable and has helped me lose over 80lbs of body fat.

However, the most important step to losing weight starts way before you actually change your diet. It starts by knowing how your current diet is sabotaging your health. Continue reading “This simple first step will get your diet on track”

American Heart Association features my story

Andy & Sheila Beal
AHA Feature on Andy Beal
Click to read the full Heart.org feature

I’m grateful to the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association for not only providing the resources that saved my life, but featuring my story and how Sheila helped.

“The personal training is not really a business. It’s more of a giving back,” said Andy, who also is a reputation management consultant. “There’s so many people that don’t know their own risks, and I just want to be that person that is just gently prodding, ‘Hey, get your cholesterol checked. Watch your blood pressure. Watch for these types of foods. Don’t smoke.'”

Besides eating healthy and working out, Andy maintains his health through a combination of medications and a heart monitor. He and Sheila also check in with each other if they don’t feel right and talk through their options, including whether they should go the emergency room.

Sheila urges people to not be afraid to act.

“Be proactive. Don’t sweep things under the rug,” she said. “I’m glad we erred on the side of caution that morning even though Andy felt perfectly fine. I’m so glad we were in the emergency room when the stroke happened, the big one.”

I’m committed to helping spread the word about stroke and heart attack prevention and the important role family members play.

A heart attack can be hiding in plain sight, so act early to improve your heart health

How do you feel? Feel good?

Feel 100%?

I know I did the weeks leading up to my stroke. I was, at that time, in the best shape of my life*. I had already been exercising and watching my diet for 8 months, so the stroke was a big surprise.

Do you know what else was a big surprise? Learning that I had a minor heart attack at some point previously and that my left anterior descending (LAD) artery was 70% blocked!

The clock had been quietly ticking on having an infamous “widowmaker” heart attack. One that I would likely not have survived. Continue reading “A heart attack can be hiding in plain sight, so act early to improve your heart health”

Your heart is the most important muscle, so have it checked for #HeartMonth

No matter what type of exercise you enjoy, the muscle that will get the most benefit will be your heart.

February is #HeartMonth so it’s a good time to make sure your heart is in good health by visiting your doctor and getting it checked out. As a runner, I have already shared the many health benefits of walking, running, or indeed any exercise, but that doesn’t mean your heart doesn’t need some TLC. Continue reading “Your heart is the most important muscle, so have it checked for #HeartMonth”

Hands-only CPR is the key to Stayin’ Alive

With February being #AmericanHeartMonth, it’s a good time to learn these simple two steps that could save the life of someone suffering a cardiac arrest:

1. Call 911
2. Start chest compressions to the beat of the Bee Gees’ Stayin Alive song

Chest compressions at 100-120 beats per minute, until paramedics arrive, can triple someone’s chances of surviving.

I’ll let Dr. Ken Jeong take it from here…

Don’t worry about how you look at the gym. Focus on how you feel

Going to the gym to workout can be intimidating. You look around and you see many folks lifting some crazy-heavy weights. You feel a sense of pressure that if you don’t lift a heavy dumbbell or you select a low weight on your favorite machine, you’ll look weak, feeble, and maybe even suffer a snicker or eye-roll.

Do not worry about how you look at the gym. Focus on how you feel.

When you lift a weight or use a machine, yes, it should feel heavy, but not so heavy that you either: Continue reading “Don’t worry about how you look at the gym. Focus on how you feel”

Should you work out when sick? Let your clavicle be your guide

I’m sick.

And tired.

I’m sick and tired. But not of working out and eating healthy. After a quick overseas trip, I returned home with a heavy cold.

I want to work out. I even tried to play some tennis. But, I’m both physically and mentally fatigued. That’s generally a good sign (oxymoron?) that your body is diverting all available resources to fight the illness. Your body needs to focus its energy on fighting the virus, so don’t divert your body’s limited resources to cardio and weight training.

Should you always give up exercise when you’re sick?

Not always. Continue reading “Should you work out when sick? Let your clavicle be your guide”