It seems that there are many aspects that affect heart health. Exercise, diet, stretching, etc. What is most important to start with? I recommend to get diet in order first. Drink more water, keep moderate carbs and lean protein, cut out as much fat as you can except for omega-3 (fish oil especially). Then work stretching and identifying tight spots in the body(these are roadblocks to overall vascular flow). Then add in moderate cardio exercise. Too much exercise at first will throw hunger pangs and muscle stiffness your way. Heavy weight training can also lead to tight muscles. Slowly add longer and more intense workouts as it becomes easier and more fun. Over time(maybe years), these will turn into habits. Perhaps you will find in the off season(too hot, too cold, too wet) is a good time to address diet and stretching, while exercising outdoors as much as possible during the good seasons. I find a good balance of all three throughout the year to be best.
I am currently in the middle of working much of the info in this blog into a book. It has been awhile since the blog has had a new post, but the gears are in motion for a book one day. Any ideas or thoughts or concerns you have regarding this blog, drop me a line and I’ll try to work it into the book! Any feedback is always appreciated(good or bad).
It seems that by increasing your fitness, you can decrease your chances of most degenerative diseases. How is this you ask? Perhaps a closer look at how the bodies vascular system works is important to understand how critical even the smallest blip in vascular health creates a ripple effect that leads to everything from diabetes, to cancer, to arthritis. The cells of the body need a constant supply of blood nearby to bring needed nutrients and oxygen to the cells, while also removing carbon dioxide and toxins. This doesn’t necessarily happen naturally. The vascular system can be compromised as we know, most famously in the vessels supplying the heart. But every cell in the body needs a healthy supply. This is vastly overlooked in medicine today. It is well known already in medicine that every cell in the body needs to be within 6-9 nanometers of a capillary to be healthy. As capillarization is compromised from poor diet, dehydration, and lack of exercise, then the distance becomes greater from capillary to the cells. At 10-20 nm (nanometers) the cells are seriously compromised, not only from the distance (and resulting slower transit time, extra toxin buildup), but also having to compete with over three times the number of cells per capillary. At 20-25 nm, the cells die. The modern diet and lifestyle guarantees that this is happening in nearly everyone to a certain degree.
So what does this have to do with the diseases that have not been linked to vascular disease? All degenerative diseases have a list of symptoms that usually include a specific organ or gland that is malfunctioning. A list of accompanying symptoms may of may not be present. The idea that this malfunctioning organ creates the outlying symptoms is much more clear when thought of simply being affected by the same vascular insufficiency that is creating the original organ to malfunction.
Get a good amount of cardio exercise, drink a good amount of water, limit dietary fat(perhaps supplement with fish oil/omega-3), stretch. Take care of yourself! Then help take care of others.
One of the big questions I’ve been getting involves inherited disorders (different from hereditary disorders like Down’s Syndrome). Many people accept to live with a disease or ailment because it runs in the family. There are two main reasons why we inherit these problems. One is the response of vascular density programmed by the DNA. The second is the tendency for poor diets to be passed down the family line. If your parents tend to eat high fat, unhealthy food, it is hard to change later in life. Thankfully, the reverse is true with healthy families.
The DNA carries with it the ability to differentiate each cell in to exactly what it was meant to do (mainly controlled by the stem cells). Part of the cells that are masterminded by the DNA are the blood vessels. When we don’t exercise growing up or eat too much carbs(what kid doesn’t), the body doesn’t have a chance to keep building new blood vessels. Early vascular development is very important to long-term health and abilities. But the modern diet for kids is giving them the short end of the stick for the rest of their lives. They emulate their parents, and if the parents don’t make a concerted effort to keep them healthy(through activities and being a healthy role model themselves), the poor diet choices continue for life. P.S., thanks mom for making sure I went out and rode my bike every day!
So we are taught bad health? Yes. But it is inherited too. The mastermind that is the DNA also picks and chooses where blood vessels are strongest. Giving a great diet, lot’s of water and exercise, all blood vessels can grow and branch easily as needed in development. But how many kids get it perfect? So defects show up. Areas where blood vessel development is compromised. So the conclusion is? Get cardio exercise, eat healthier, eat a bit less, work on flexibility and strength. All the usual. Always work towards a solution, don’t get caught up in the details. Bad knees run in the family? Work on strengthening the muscles of the entire leg, as well as keeping the muscles loose with massage, yoga and trigger therapy. Diabetes run in the family? Get out there and exercise, sweat, balance carbs and water, eat less fat, etc. The solution for better health is the same for everyone, we just have to target personal problems and weaknesses. Now get out there and get moving!
After studying cellular respiratory, human anatomy, and the mechanisms of disease, a question popped up in my mind. What happens if there is not enough blood flow an area of the body? What if that area was a vital organ? What if it was only partial occlusion? What would be the result? And then it lead the idea that maybe their is another disease that mimics all known diseases. Vascular disease. It would certainly lead to the same exact symptoms of known diseases. It would even fit in with the known preventative modalities (exercise, healthy diet , no smoking) that are known to greatly decrease the incident of known degenerative diseases.
Then, as I explored this idea, I found a total lack of study on vascular diseases links to other diseases. It was almost as if the medical community shunned this idea all together. It would be one thing if some studies came back inconclusive, or negative. But no significant studies. There is certainly a strong connection between vascular health and overall health. But the idea that vascular health is THE determinant of disease progression has been ignored. Bingo! It makes total sense and is an idea that fits perfectly into all we know about disease. The medical research is heavily based on the RESULTS of unhealthy cellular activity, and what needs to be done to supplement or erase the consequences RATHER than what needs to be done to restore healthy cellular activity programmed into our DNA.
The coolest thing is that by attacking vascular disease from all angles, you can easily prevent and reverse many health problems on your own. Start exercising, eat less fat, eat less carbs, drink more water, eat more natural green leafy foods(to prevent calcification of the vascular system), take care of bodily hygiene and the digestive tract (the protective barrier that keeps bacteria and excess undigested food out of the bloodstream). Sound like a new years resolution doesn’t it? Well hopefully these ideas can motivate you even more! Don’t run scared from disease, run towards health (or in my case bike towards health). Happy New Years!
So you want to get healthier. What should you expect if you start with the recommendations in this blog?. The answers depend on a large number of factors, primarily how healthy you have been your whole life, and how well you stick to the guidelines. Many changes happen as vessels become healthier, and new vascular connections are made. Many of us have strengths and weakness . Some people eat very healthy, but don’t exercise, or vice versa. By realizing this and keeping on top of any problem areas in your body, it is relatively easy to get healthy with these guidelines. Your body is going to go through some changes. If you are tired, rest. Try some restorative yoga, especially the inversion poses, or simply lie on you bed with your legs raised above your heart for 10-20 minutes. Resist plunging into a quart of Ben and Jerry’s when stressed. After a busy workweek, use the weekend to recharge, eat light, stretch, get fresh air. Your daily routine should include a balance of foods, exercise, stretching, and rest. Normal stuff.
Hopefully you already have some of the recommendations in your daily routine already. If not, start with drinking more. That will give you the energy and blood flow to start the process of bringing blood flow to and from the cells. Then start with stretching, massage, and light exercise. Cut back on sugar, carbs and fats, increase protein, green vegetables, add magnesium (malate or chelated)niacin(10mg a day to start, 100mg max). Then after that add in cardio exercise and strength exercises.
The three main dietary changes that affect vascular health are also implicated in Breast Cancer. Lower fat diet, less carbs, and healthy balance between calcium and Magnesium. In countries where there is a low fat diet, breast cancer occurrence is much lower than America. In America, it seems you either get too much calcium from dairy, or dairy substitutes, as well as many women take calcium substitutes to ward off osteoporosis. Many countries do not push calcium intake on the women. It makes sense from what we know about calcium’s role in the start of vascular disease to re-evaluate this practice. Coincidentally, it is the milk producing glands of the breast where the cancer originates.
Cutting back on calcium intake (I recommend Canada’s RDI of 700mg) is not the sure fire ticket to osteoporosis as many people have been told. The calcium in the bones in not easily lost, it is constantly recycled. You don’t need to supplement more calcium to build new bone, you must let bone cells into denser, better shapes. The body has a fine balance system the breaks down bone, and then rebuild it again healthier. In addition, keep Magnesium intake up to at least half of your calcium intake (for 700 mg of calcium, 350 mg of Magnesium). See the column on Osteoporosis for more info.