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Stretching is vital before starting any exercise routine 

Image by Emily Sea


Is considered a form of physical exercise that optimally should be performed before starting any strenuous exercise regiment.



Walking - 30 min to 1hr

Jogging - 30 min to 1 hr

Running - 30 min to 1 hr

= 200 -1000 calories burned based on intensity levels.


Weight Lifting with Iron

Pumping Iron -

Weight training is commonly considered strength training for the development of size and strength of the musculoskeletal system. The weighted bars and dumbbells oppose the force generated by muscle contraction by flexion and extension.


*Stretching - allows for specific muscles, tendons and ligaments to deliberately flex and extend in order to improve their elasticity and achieve improved muscle tone. This allows for increased flexibility, range of motion and improved muscle control. Stretching can be used to alleviate cramps and is frequently used as therapy in rehabilitation thereby, improving overall daily function and increasing range of motion.

“The beginning is the most important part of the work”

Streching for posture & flexibility benefits

Some benefits of stretching includes; better posture, increased flexibility, decreases the risk of injury, helps reduce muscle soreness and stiffness.

Stretching loosens tight muscles that can cause bad posture and is associated with persistent pain associated primarily with your back, neck, and shoulders. 

Establish A Healthy Eating Plan 

Healthy Eating

Establishing a health eating plan is important in preventing heart attacks and strokes

Making the choice to eat healthy.


Healthy food habits can help you reduce three important risk factors for heart attacks and strokes. Therefore, what you eat is vitally important in reducing; high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and excess body weight. A healthy eating plan will help you acheive and maintain a healthy eating patterns that benefit the body in a healthy way by; lowering body weight, obtaining desirable blood cholesterol levels, and normalizing blood pressure.

Healthy Eating Plan example

  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables (5 or more servings per day).

  • Eat a variety of grain products, including whole grains (6 or more servings per day).

  • Eat fresh fish at least twice a week.

  • Include fat-free and low-fat milk products 

  • Choose skinless poultry, lean meats and legumes (beans)

  • Select low fat oils with less than 2 grams of saturates fat per tablespoon, such as butter, margarines, canola, olive, sunflower, and soy bean oils.

  • Balance the number of calories you eat to maintain your best weight.

Heart Healthy Foods​

  1. Choose foods naturally low in saturated-fat, trans-fat, and cholesterol. Eat more fruits and vetetables; most are naturally low in fats, calories and sodium.

  2. Choose fat-free or low-fat products. Cutting back on fat will help keep your calorie intake low. However, eating too many calories from fats, carbohydrate or protein can contribute to weight gain.

  3. Use lean meats. Choose fish, chicken, turkey and lean cuts of beef or pork.

  4. Switch to fat-free milk. Gradually reduce the fat content of milk.

  5. Eat fat-free and low-fat cheeses and other dairy products. Nonfat/low-fat milk, cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, & yogurt

  6. Try fat-free and low-fat puddings and frozen desserts. Frozen fruit bars, Sherbet, ice cream, & puddings

  7. Enjoy low-fat breads, cereals, and pastas. Bagels 2g, hot cereals 2g, English muffins 1-2g, breads (2 slices, 2g), corn tortilla 2g.

  8. Monitor your intake of foods high in cholesterol. Limit your average daily cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg as a part of a diet that is low in saturated fats. Foods from animals such as: meat, fish, poultry, butter, cheese, egg yolks, & whole milk diary products are high in cholesterol. Foods from plants such as: fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds don't contain cholesterol.

  9. Use less fat in cooking. Adjust the amount of fat you eat in each meal to acheive the appropriate calorie level. Bake, broil, grill, steam, poach or microwave foods instead of frying them. Use nonstick vegetable cooking spray oils.

  10. Enjoy the tase of foods without sauces or gravies. Choose fat-free or low-fat versions instead.


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Inside an Ambulance

Heart disease is the #1 killer of Americans

Eating foods that are high in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol are bad for you. They will ultimately raise the level of cholesterol in the blood. High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women in the United States and strokes is #3. Eating foods low in saturated, trans fats, and cholesterol can help reduce some risk for these diseases.

Heart Attack Warning Signs

Some heart attacks are sudden and intense, but most of them start slowley, with mild discomfort or pain. Here are some signs and symptoms of a heart attack:


  • Chest discomfort - Most heart attacks involve chest discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It feels like an uncomfortable presure, squezing, or pain.

  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body - Symptoms may include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, neck, jaw, or stomach.

  • Shortness of breath - May occur with or without chest discomfort.

  • Other signs - Including cold sweats, nausea, or lightheadedness.

Stroke Warning Signs

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.

  • Sudden confussion, trouble speaking or understanding.

  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.

  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.

  • Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

*Stroke is a Medical Emergency - call 911

How the Heart works

The heart is essentially an effective and efficient pump that continually pumps blood throughout the body. It is made up of strong cardiac muscle fibers that make up the walls of the heart that has three tissue layers: the endocardium, myocardium, and epicardium. The endocardium is the inner most layer of the heart that lines the hearts inner chambers, valves, chordae tendineae, and papillary muscles. The myocardium (middle layer) is a thick muscular layer that is responsible for the pumping action of the heart. The epicardium is the outer most layer that contains blood capillaries, lymph capillaries, and nerve fibers.

The heart has four chambers: two chambers on the left side and two on the right. The upper chamber on each side, called an atrium, receives and collects blood. The lower chamber on each side is called the ventricles, which pumps blood out of the heart. The left ventricle is the main pumping chamber of the heart. It pumps blood to all parts of the body except the lungs.

The heart has an electrical system that produces tiny impulses that travel from the upper to the lower chambers and tell chambers to contract and pump blood. As it beats, the heart pumps blood through a system of blood vessels. These are elastic-like tubes that carry blood to every part of the body. Blood leaves the heart through the arteries and returns through the veins. The heart pumps blood into the arteries with enough force to keep the blood flowing. Blood pressure is the amount of force that blood exerts on the walls of the arteries as the heart beats.

The Coronary Arteries

The coronary arteries flow on the outer surface of the heart and divide into smaller branches. These branches then penetrate deep into smaller branches, then into even smaller branches that penetrate deep into the heart muscle carrying oxygen-rich blood to all cells.


The four chambers of the heart work together by contracting (squeezing) to pumping blood throughout the body. As it circulates, blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to vital organs and tissue. Blood that returns from the body is low in oxygen. This oxygen-poor blood collects in the right atrium and flows into the right ventricle then pumped into the lungs, where it is enriched with oxygen. This oxygen-rich blood re-enters the heart at the left atrium, then flows into the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber. Then the blood is pumped into arteries that carry it to all parts of the body.

The coronary arteries are responsible for the supply of oxygen 24/7 to the heart. They carry oxygen rich blood to the heart muscle. As blood leaves the left ventricle, it is pumped into the aorta, the body’s main artery. At the beginning of the aorta, near the top of the heart is where the two left and right coronary arteries start.


The first part of the left coronary artery is called the left main artery, and extremely important blood vessel because it carries over two-thirds of oxygen-rich blood that supplies the heart muscle. The left main artery then branches into slightly narrower arteries: the left anterior descending, which travels down the front side of the heart; and left circumflex, which circles around the left side and then to the back of the heart. The right coronary artery branches off the aorta, circles around the right side, and then travels to the back of the heart.

Coronary Heart Disease

Coronary arteries allow blood flow easily through its smooth and flexible walls. Over time, fatty deposits called plaque begin to build up on the inside of the artery’s wall. As a result of plaque build up in the coronary arteries leads to coronary heart disease.


When plaque grows large enough in the coronary artery walls it restricts blood flow to the heart and other vital organs. The restricted blood flow causes a decrease in oxygen to the heart muscle that can result in chest pain or discomfort.


Angina is a pain or discomfort in the chest, arm, or jaw as a result of decreased oxygen to the heart muscle. If a plaque tears or ruptures, it can cause a blood clot to form inside the artery. When the artery becomes blocked by a clot it can completely cut off blood supply to the heart muscle and cause a heart attack. In a heart attack, a portion or portions of the heart muscle are permanently damaged.

Coronary Heart Disease is commonly caused by the narrowing of one or more of the coronary arteries primarily due to blockage of blood vessels that supply blood to the heart muscle. This can lead to heart conditions such as: Angina, Heart Attacks, Cardiac Arrhythmias, and Heart Failure. Common causes of Coronary heart disease include:

  1. Angina – a pain or discomfort in the chest, arm, or jaw that occurs when not enough blood flows to the heart muscle

  2. Heart Attack – the damage to an area of the heart muscle cause by the loss of blood flow to the heart from a blocked coronary artery

  3. Arrhythmias - abnormal heart rhythms

  4. Heart Failure – the inability of the heart to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs

*Coronary heart disease is a primary cause of death and disability in the United States. However, with proper care, most patients with coronary heart disease can go on to lead normal active healthy and productive lives.

Heart Failure signs & symptoms

Chest pain.jpeg

Risk Factors

Risk factors are traits, conditions, or habbits that can increase your chances of developing coronary heart disease. Generally, the more the risk factors you have, the greater your chance of suffering a heart attack. Some risk factors such as age and gender cannot be changed or controlled, while other signifiacnt risk factors, such as smoking, and high blood pressure, cannot be changed or treated.

Risk factors that cannot be changed

  • Age; generally, the older you are, the greater the chance of you having coronary heart disease. The risk increases especially after the age of 50.

  • Gender; men generally develop heart disease ten years earlier than women. By the age of 60, heart disease is the leading cause of death in both sexes.

  • Family history of heart disease.

Risk factors that can be changed 

  • Smoking

  • High blood pressure

  • High cholesterol

  • Diabetes or insulin resistance

  • Obesity or overweight

  • Lack of physical activity

*By reducing as many of these risk factors as possible through lifestyle changes, you will be lowering your risk of coronary heart disease.

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