Diet, activity and rest: the recipe for a healthy heart?
A native tribe in the Amazon, the Tsimane, are said to have the healthiest hearts in the world. One doctor’s study of the Tsimane people resulted in an enriching study on achieving excellent heart health.
Instead of the anticipated “paleo” type diet, the study found that the Tsimane people eat most of their calories in the form of carbohydrates – plantains, cassava, rice, and corn account for 70% of their diet.
What’s missing from their diet? Added sugars and salts. The other important factors were 15% fat, 15% protein, and nearly twice as much fiber as the typical American diet. Intermittent fasting, as a result of food scarcity, was also a notable aspect of their diet.
In the realm of activity, the Tsimane people spend most of their time either standing or walking; on average, they take about 17,000 steps per day. Contrary to the intense workouts that have become popular recently (from HIIT to resistance training), the Tsimane fitness regime consists of constant (but not intense) activity.
The third key to heart health is rest. Without electronics and having a schedule based on daylight, the Tsimane people spent a large amount of time resting and sleeping (about 9 hours per day).
Other heart healthy aspects of their culture? Socialization, which we know to be helpful in the fight against heart health and premature death in general.
Feel free to read more about these interesting discoveries below.
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Not a fan of exercise? Here is another reason to jump on the fitness wagon.
According to new research, increasing your fitness level as you age can lower your risk of heart disease, illness, and early death. Adding just a few minutes to your daily workout can bring enormous benefits to your overall health.
Of the participants of the study, those who met the minimum weekly exercise requirements were 29% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 11% less likely to die from cancer. And those who remained inactive? Well, the story was not as positive.
For more information on this study, check out the article.
Questions about workouts that are suited to your needs or injuries? Ask us at your next appointment!
Do you track your heart rate during workouts?
Depending on your fitness goals, you might want to start.
In order to maintain your heart rate in ideal zones during your workouts, you must first figure out your max heart rate (minimum times your heart should beat during an activity).
While estimates can vary depending on the method of measurement used, two of the most common are “220 minus your age” or “207 minus 0.7 times your age.” However you choose to calculate, having a ballpark figure can help optimize workouts.
For health and recovery, 50-60% of your max heart rate is a good place to be.
For basic endurance and fat burning, the ideal range is 60-70%.
For working up a sweat while building endurance (moderately long exercise), your best range is 70-80%.
For pushing your body into anaerobic metabolism, aim at 80-90% of your max heart rate.
For max capacity (usually between 30 seconds and two minutes of hard core exertion), your zone will be in the 90-100% range.
Looking for more information? Check out the article below!
As always, be sure to ask us (or your general practitioner) for safety tips during exercise.
We hope everyone is staying cool and hydrated.
Please stay safe this weekend and see you next week!
Stressed? Perhaps you should rethink your go-to workout.
While vigorous exercise can help many people feel rejuvenated, for others, it can accomplish the opposite.
Cortisol in balance is necessary for the body; however, consistently elevated cortisol can be very detrimental and may lead to anxiety, depression, weight gain, cardiac issues, sleep disorders, digestive issues, headaches, memory impairment, and more.
Instead of relying solely on HIIT classes or CrossFit-like workouts, trying incorporating yoga, pilates, slow jogging, swimming, or other cortisol-conscious exercises into your wellness routine.
For more information, check out the article.
Is endurance exercise actually good for you?
One fear of marathon runners is cardiac arrest as a result of overloading the heart during a race.
While marathon running can increase the risk of cardiac arrest in the short term (while racing), it lowers the overall risk of heart problems.
Race related stress and excitement can be problematic, particularly for middle aged men in the last stretch of a race (the final four miles are statistically the most dangerous).
Overall, running is beneficial to heart health – runners are 45% less likely to die from heart disease than non runners.
For more information, check out the NYT article below.