Being proactive when it comes to heart health can be a lifesaving decision. If you’re a high-level, high-functioning businessperson who seldom takes breaks, works hard, and hasn’t been paying attention to what you eat nor getting much exercise this blog post is for you. With the proper types of preventative care and lifestyle modifications some forms of cardiovascular events can be detected, avoided, halted, or even reversed.
Detroit-based cardiologist Dr. Joel Kahn of The Kahn Center for Cardiac Longevity joined me for some straight talk about heart health for career-minded professionals who seem to place work responsibilities and priorities before self-care. To listen to the full podcast program and learn the six lifestyle habits recommended by Dr. Kahn, click here.
Dr. Kahn explained that heart disease can progress inside the three main arteries of the heart for months to years, and even decades, without symptoms. The arteries can be badly blocked, or even totally blocked, with no warning of pressure or squeezing or tightness in the chest. Many do not know they have a slowly progressing or silent blockage developing. Think of how many colleagues, close family members, or friends you know who have had a heart attack or have heart disease and didn’t recognize this until they ended up in the ER by way of an ambulance ride? Wouldn’t being able to know ahead or even prevent such pains be worth doing? We think so.
What is someone to do?
Know your numbers: Make checking your calcium levels part of your regular wellness care. Heightened calcium levels and hardening of the arteries can be tested. Ask your physician for these two non-invasive tests – the Coronary Artery Calcium Score (a CAT scan) and the Carotid Intima-Media Thickness (CIMT) test (an ultrasound) – which can look inside your arteries. A stress test, or blood test, or an EKG will not always pick up a developing silent blockage.
Practice stress management: 85% of heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease can be prevented by learning how to better handle stress and how to live a healthier lifestyle. For instance, one of the many forms of exercise is a way to relieve stress. Choose your favorite and commit to adding it as part of your daily or weekly routine.
Adopt a plant-based nutrition lifestyle: Science says to eat more than five servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Pair your fruits and vegetables beside a piece of fish or chicken or tempeh for a delicious meal. If you have heart calcification this dietary change can help lower your calcium scores or become a preventative to heart attacks – keeping your arteries from forming a blockage. As calcium scores lower the heart disease is essentially being reversed.
Learning more about plant-based nutrition
For a gentle entry into plant-based nutrition watch the 96-minute documentary Forks Over Knives. The documentary explores degenerative diseases and the impact our diet has on controlling and reversing the diseases. It’s extremely powerful.
You will find numerous additional resources mentioned in the podcast show notes including contact information for Dr. Kahn’s restaurant, Green Space Café located in Ferndale, Michigan. This restaurant serves as an excellent lab for a cardiologist to experiment with healthy food choices and transition local health for the better by feeding nutritious and healthy meals.
It takes a strong heart to lead a strong business. Make today the day that you prioritize your own health as something essential in helping you maintain a successful and thriving career. Take advantage of my 1:1 Consulting to assemble a customized plan with lifestyle modifications for your whole living.