Weight Train After Your Heart Attack and Live Longer

Man has heart attack

After your heart attack or some other “cardiac event”, such as a coronary artery bypass graft and/or stent placement, you may have received conflicting advice as to what level of activity is acceptable. Some of the things you may have heard are:

  • Don’t lift anything over 5 lbs.
  • Don’t lift anything over 10 lbs. “for a while”.
  • Don’t lift anything for a week.
  • Don’t drive more than 30 minutes.
  • Don’t “get exhausted” for a month.
  • Don’t exercise for a few weeks.
  • Don’t lift over 5 lbs. for a period of time — or ever.
  • Go back to whatever you were doing before.

These guidelines can be confusing and promote anxiety and inactivity. Physicians generally prescribe aerobic/endurance exercise, such as walking, to strengthen your cardiorespiratory system, but in order to return to activities of daily living (ADLs), resistance training is necessary to accomplish everyday tasks, such as:

  • Mowing the lawn
  • Vacuuming
  • Carrying your children, groceries, or suitcase
  • Loading and unloading the trunk of a car/truck
  • Bending over to pick up the newspaper or toys off the floor
  • Lifting your grandchildren
  • Placing or removing items from a high shelf
  • Closing the trunk of a car or van
  • Opening a heavy door (e.g., door of a car, building, refrigerator, freezer, or dishwasher)

Resistance training enables you to perform these daily tasks safely, independently and more efficiently. By having a stronger musculoskeletal system, you decrease the cardiac demands of daily activities and increase your endurance capacity for other activities. Strength training has also been shown to maintain and build stronger bones as well as slow or prevent bone loss. A strong structure will reduce your risk for developing other debilitating diseases (e.g., osteoporosis) and ultimately help you live a longer, stronger and happier life.

Grandparents And Grandson Playing Game Indoors TogetherMuscular strength and endurance are important to prevent falls and safely return to vocational and recreational activities as well as activities of daily living. Most people need to do some type of lifting, carrying, or pushing in their daily routine. Your body has nine (9) fundamental human movement patterns. The foundation of your workouts should develop these movements:    Continue reading “Weight Train After Your Heart Attack and Live Longer”

Fit TV | Healthy Aging

Find out what you need to know for healthy aging, that is, how to sidestep “getting old”…. from low testosterone (and its effects on sex drive and belly fat) to prostate cancer, robotic surgery, and osteopenia. Emmy Award-winning news anchor John Kessler, and Karen Owoc address a range of medical symptoms and treatments with Dr. Neil Okamura and Dr. Mark Lollar of San Ramon Regional Medical Center/John Muir Health.

How to Stay Healthy If You’re a Woman

Female signOne of the most important ways for women at any age to stay healthy and live longer is to get recommended screening tests.  These tests can detect diseases early (i.e. cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, and more) when they are easier to treat.

NOTE: If you have risk factors, a diagnosed condition, or a family history of certain diseases, talk to your physician.  The types of tests, when you start testing, and how often you test may differ from the standard recommendations below.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for the following diseases:

Weight_Scale1.  Obesity: Have your Body Mass Index (BMI) calculated to screen for obesity.  BMI is a tool that is used to measure body fat by the weight (in kilograms) to height (in meters) ration of an individual.  A BMI of 25 – 29.9 kg/m indicates overweight and a BMI greater than 30 kg/m indicates obesity.

You can use the BMI calculator from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to find your own BMI.

2.  Breast Cancer (age 40+): Starting at age 20, the American Cancer Society recommends getting a Clinical Breast Exam (CBE) by your health care provider about every 3 years.  Breast self-exam (BSE) is also an option for women starting in their 20s.  At age 40, you should have a mammogram every year and a CBE prior to the mammogram.

3.  High Cholesterol (age 45+): Starting at age 45, have your blood checked regularly for cholesterol levels (fasting blood test).  Talk to your provider about testing earlier if you are younger than 45 and if: