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Message From Our Executive Director
By Andrew P. Mandell – MR.DIABETES®
February is American Heart Month. As you read this UPDATE you will learn heart healthy tips.
On February 2nd Puxatony Phil, our national “winter weather guru” stuck his head out of his groundhog hole and saw his shadow. So, that means we have only six more weeks of winter. Pay heed, folks.
In six more weeks we’ll be shedding our heavy winter garb and we’ll
all be thinking SPRING. Yes!! And that means we’ll be shifting our activities away from our TV’s and computers in favor of our backyards, parks and playgrounds. It’s a great idea to begin preparing (or continuing) those healthy life habits in anticipation of better enjoying all those outdoor activities.
Many of us made resolutions to make 2010 our personal “get healthy” year. And, maybe you have slipped a bit in keeping that commitment. Well, if that’s the case, get back on track and re-commit. It’s never too late to re-start that health engine.
February is distinguished by having Valentine’s Day. Think about it… It represents that special time we think romantically about our special someone. Now, that is the ultimate in hope and happiness. Our hearts are bursting with love and anticipation of it – all is well with the world. Well, let’s take it a step further – to the symbol of Valentine’s Day – The HEART. Now, let’s take it even one more step – YOUR HEART!! Don’t you want to keep it happy and healthy for the one you love?
February is American Heart Month. And this is a call to action for everyone but, especially, for diabetics. Diabetics are 2-4 times more likely to suffer a heart attack and 6 times more likely to suffer a stroke. I’m not going to burden you with the grim statistics because this is a message of hope and optimism. And, we can all do better.
Even me – MR. DIABETES®. For those of you who followed my adventure of the past eight years (Dec. 1, 2000 – Dec. 21, 2008) as I walked the perimeter of the United States for diabetes awareness, you surely know that I have mastered the art of “walking”, considering I walked over 10,000 miles. Well, yes, in some ways I did. But, I’ve re-committed to make my “walking” even better. I have signed up for a beginning Walking Class with walking guru, Bonnie Stein. To learn about who Bonnie Stein is, go to: www.AceWalker.com
Of course, there are many other valuable exercises. The object is to do the one(s) you enjoy and do them frequently. Keep your heart rate in the target range for 30 minutes, or more. That will ensure you get the maximum heart healthy benefits of that particular aerobic activity. Here’s how to determine your target heart rate. But, before beginning ANY new exercise regimen, consult with you medical team!
1. Begin with the number: 220
2. Subtract your age: 64 = 156
3. Multiply 156 by 80% = 124.8 (125 for practical purposes) That is the maximum heart beats per minute to maintain throughout your exercise session.
4. Then, multiply 156 by 60% = 93.6 (94 for practical purposes). That is the minimum heart beats per minute to maintain throughout your exercise session.
So, for me to get the most heart healthy aerobic benefit when I walk, at age 64, is to stay between 125 and 94 heart beats per minute.
Measuring your pulse: I recommend taking a “radial” reading. This is accomplished by taking your index finger and middle finger and place them at the proper position on your inside wrist.
DO NOT do this with your thumb, as you will not get a correct reading. Of course, there are many styles of portable pulse reading devices. If you decide to go that route, make sure it is an accurate device.
Now that you know how to determine your Target Heart Rate, you must then follow the principle: F-I-T.
F = FREQUNCY: minimum 3 days per week. 4,5 or 6 days per week is preferable.
I = INTENSITY: Maintain your Target Heart Rate range for the entire exercise session.
T = TIME: 30 minutes is a fair “minimum” time commitment for your exercise session. There are many opinions about how long is appropriate to get aerobic benefit. But, there’s no doubt about it when your exercise session is 30 minutes. Longer, of course, will enhance the benefits.
It’s important to NOT be hard on yourself. If you are overweight, or even obese, you’re not alone. If you can’t do the exercise (even walking) for longer than a few minutes, you’re not alone. Whatever your condition, whatever your state of mind, you have the ability to change it! What is most important is that you commit to making the effort and stick with it. If you do, you will improve - a little bit at a time.
And, don’t forget to eat a healthy diet. If you need help in that department, we offer great advice and information at our website: www.DefeatDiabetes.org
Andrew P. Mandell – MR. DIABETES®
AWARENESS + ACTION = PREVENTION®
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