Is Swimming the Best Exercise for You?

Is swimming really the best workout for you? Swimming as a form of exercise has many advantages. Whether or not swimming is the best workout for your particular body depends on your unique needs and preferences.
One of the often repeated comments about swimming is that it exercises your entire body. The truth of this really depends on how you approach swimming. It is possible to get in a pool and swim on your back without exerting much energy at all. However, if you are swimming laps using a stroke such as the front crawl or the breast stroke, you will use the muscles of your legs, arms, shoulders, buttocks and more.
If you are swimming at a fast pace, racing others for example, or racing against your personal best, you will experience the cardiovascular benefits of swimming. Your heart will work harder and faster to generate energy. Your lungs will also strengthen as you breathe more quickly and intensely.
Swimming is an ideal form of exercise if you are dealing with injuries. For example, if you are a runner and your knees can no longer endure the impact of running, swimming will be a more manageable way to get your daily exercise.

Watch for Peripheral Artery Disease!

Are you doing what you can to avoid buildup of fat in your arteries? Simple lifestyle changes could be all you need to avoid peripheral artery disease (PAD). Nearly ten million people in this country are suffering from PAD. While it is common for people to know that a buildup of the plaque in the arteries around the heart can lead to a heart attack or stroke, fewer people know that the same buildup in the arteries outside the heart can also have devastating effects on health.
PAD, also called peripheral vascular disease, is a narrowing of the peripheral arteries (arteries outside the heart). It is a common disorder of the circulatory system. PAD is usually caused by atherosclerosis, a buildup of fatty deposits in artery walls that leads to restricted blood flow. Atherosclerosis affects the heart and can affect arteries throughout the body.
PAD is frequently detected in people who have coronary artery disease, which is caused by reduced blood flow due to plaque buildup in the arteries. There are steps you can take to lower your risk of developing PAD.
These include:
-Quit smoking
-Maintain a healthy weight
-Exercise regularly
-Maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels
-Control your blood pressure
-Manage your diabetes

10 Breakfasts for Your Healthy Heart!

When speaking of heart-health, breakfast is a good way to get a start on the 25 or more grams of dietary fiber you need each day to help lower cholesterol levels.
Preparing breakfast foods does not have to be a time-consuming process. With a little planning, everyone can enjoy the health benefits derived from eating a breakfast each day.
Here are some quick and easy breakfast ideas:
-Bowl of instant oatmeal or oat bran topped with fruit and/or walnuts, skim milk or low fat soy milk.
-Bowl of ready-to-eat high fiber cereal topped fruit and/or walnuts, skim milk or low fat soy milk.
-2 slices whole-grain toast, English muffin, pita or bagel topped with 2 Tbsp. Peanut butter, 1 tsp. trans-fatty acid free margarine or 2 Tbsp. Nonfat cream cheese.
-6-8 oz. nonfat or 1% yogurt topped with fruit, nuts or granola.
-4 oz. nonfat or 1% cottage cheese, served with tomato or pineapple slices.
-2 low-fat hard granola bars with 8 oz. skim milk or low-fat soy milk.
-2 egg-equivalent egg white or egg substitute omelet served on whole grain toast with orange wedges.
-Whole grain bagel topped with ½ cup nonfat or 1% cottage cheese; broiled for 5 minutes until bagel crispy, then topped with berries or fruit of choice.
-8 oz. yogurt, fruit of choice and 2 Tbsp. Ground flax seeds or wheat germ with ice – blend in blender and serve.

3 incredible vegetables for your Heart!

It’s not green, but it is bursting with antioxidants, is high in fiber, and contains allicin, a component of garlic shown to help lower the risk of heart attacks and reduce cholesterol.
Brussels sprouts
Yup, this one, too. Whether you hate or love this vitamin-rich veggie that looks like mini cabbage heads, there’s no disputing it is good for your heart. Among its heart-healthy benefits are reducing inflammation in the cardiovascular system and improving blood vessel health.
You knew this would be on the list! This green vegetable is low in cholesterol, high in fiber, and contains a wealth of antioxidants.

Beans for a healthy Life

Beans, peas, lentils, and peanuts are also wonderful soluble fiber sources: Every half-cup of cooked lima beans provides 3.5 grams, for example. One study in The Journal of Nutrition found that consuming a half cup of cooked dried pinto beans (2 grams of soluble fiber) daily for 12 weeks decreased LDL cholesterol by about 7 percent.

Try this: Make rice and beans or bean-based soups. Toss beans, lentils, or peas into salads, or swap them in for meat in pasta dishes, suggests Jimenez. The TLC diet recommends three to five half-cup servings daily of vegetables, dry beans, or legumes.

Some “Fatty” Foods to boost Good Cholesterol

So you got the results of your recent cholesterol test, and your HDL cholesterol came back low. Since low HDL is a risk factor for heart disease, you know that you need to elevate it…but how? When all the stories you read are talking about lowering your total cholesterol, why would you want to increase this form of cholesterol?
HDL (high density lipoprotein) is the “good” cholesterol. It acts like a cholesterol dump truck, gathering “bad” cholesterol from the arteries and carrying it back to the liver for clearance. This heart protective effect may even slow the buildup of plaque in the arterial walls of the heart. HDL may also have some anti-inflammatory effects that are beneficial to your heart. That’s why you want your HDL to be high, so it can better carry out these responsibilities and protect your ticker.
-Nuts– Walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, pecans, peanuts, and hazelnuts are all good sources of heart-healthy fats and are great to add to your diet to increase your intake
-Seafood– Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, albacore tuna, and halibut are highest in omega-3 fatty acids, a specific type of unsaturated fat shown to be most beneficial for heart health and reduce the risk of death by heart attack.
-Olive Oil– Olive oil is high in unsaturated fats and can help you elevate your HDL.
-Avocado– Although many dieters shy away from this fruit because of its high fat content, it’s perfectly good for you thanks to its heart-healthy fats.

Same-day discharge after angioplasty seems safe

After angioplasty to improve blood flow to the heart, some patients may be able to go home from the hospital the same day without raising their risk of complications, according to a new review.

Based on data from 37 previous studies, researchers found no differences in the number of deaths, heart attacks, serious bleeding or other complications among otherwise healthy people discharged the same day as their angioplasty procedure and those observed overnight at the hospital.

Excellent Tips for a Happy and Healthy Heart

Besides Exercise (that we call it “The wonder drug”), balanced with a good diet is the best combination to improve heart health, nevertheless there are many other lifestyle factors that can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Here, we would like to give you certain excellent tips to maintain a happy and healthy heart:
-EAT DARKER CHOCOLATE, which contains poly-phenols, a substance that reduces free radicals, which can cause cell damage. Poly-phenols also protect the heart. The Harvard School of Public Health studied almost 8,000 Americans around age 65 for five years. They found that those who ate chocolate and sweets up to three times a month lived almost a year longer than those who ate too much chocolate or none at all.
-DRINK TEA – The flavonoids in green, black and white teas improve blood vessel function and increase blood flow.
-DENTAL HYGIENE– Believe it or not, your dental health can affect the health of your heart. The bacteria in gum disease can spark inflammation that damages the blood vessels.
-SLEEP MORE -Sleep is crucial for heart health, especially if you’re a woman! University of Chicago researchers found that even one extra hour of sleep decreased the odds of hardening of the coronary arteries by 33 percent.
-HAVE MORE SEX– O yes! A happy love life seems to go with overall good health. For one thing, sexual activity is an excellent stress reducer. It’s also great exercise – you burn about 85 calories during a 30-minute session.

Excellent foods to mantain a Healthy Heart

Eat these foods to maintain an optimum cardiovascular health
Cardiovascular diseases are becoming an increasing health concern these days due to various reasons like unhealthy eating habits, work and personal life related-stress, sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercises. Heart problems also get coupled with high cholesterol levels and blood pressure too. Only exercising isn’t sufficient to maintain a healthy heart. One needs to eat the right foods for if too! Here’s a list of foods that are good for your heart:
-Green leafy vegetables
-Whole grains
-Soy protein
-Olive oil
-Red wine

Post-Angioplasty Diet

The right post angioplasty diet requires you to make it a point to limit, if not able to completely cut out, the cholesterol content of your food. Something that a lot of angioplasty patients are not aware of is the fact that the method of cooking also plays a rather vital role in the recovery process.
Use a minimum amount of fat in the preparation of the meals while the use of a non stick pan is highly recommended.
Choose to boil, steaming, blanch or grilling over other methods of preparation such as deep frying foods.
Avoid consumption of foods that have been prepared with the help of wheat flour as well as junk foods and desserts as much as possible.
Avoid processed foods, products made from refined flour or white flour, junk foods, oily or fried foods, sugar, sweets, chocolates, bakery foods made from mayonnaise, butter, cream, sugar, carbonated beverages, sodas, colas, artificially sweetened fruit and vegetable juices and candies.
Lay emphasis on healthy food options like whole unprocessed cereals, grains and its products, pulses, sprouts, beans, fresh fruits and vegetables and low fat or fat free dairy products. Whole foods and fresh fruits and vegetables will provide all the essential nutrients and fiber which will help to improve your lipid profile and nourish your body with different vitamins and minerals.
Limit the intake of foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated fats and trans fats as far as possible.