My Amazing Heart Helper

April 23, 2023 by  
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Life can be so unreal sometimes. For the most part, life is predictable, but sometimes we are hit with big surprises, good and bad.

For example, I just got hit with a big surprise and not a good one. After having my heart checked recently, the doc called and told me that I needed a procedure, and it should be done soon.

What was it that needed to be fixed? Well, the scan they did showed that my heart was not beating correctly. So, they told me that I had to go to the hospital and have an ICD. Of course, I asked what an ICD was. ICD stands for Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator. It’s like a pacemaker but it does more than that. I was in shock at this. I have been in very good health for a long time and had no idea there was this kind of problem going on inside me.

So, what did I do? I went ahead and scheduled an appointment at the hospital and a few days later the doctors did their job, and a great job they did. I went home from the hospital the very next day and have felt fine ever since then. Now I knew why I had been so out of breath when climbing a bunch of stairs.

What they had done was very interesting. They cut a small hole in my chest then placed a very, very small computer device in my heart, complete with a few wires put down into some of my veins. This device monitors the heart to keep it beating with a regular rhythm and its one small battery lasts about 7 years before it needs to get replaced. I was so impressed that all that could be implanted and set up so fast. And the recovery was very easy.

So, after all that was done, I talked to my kids and grandkids and told them that now I have a better computer than they do, so they’d better watch out for me because I might be as smart or smarter than them. They got a big laugh out of that.

Isn’t it absolutely amazing what humans can figure out? So many inventions are absolutely incredible, and many of them have changed our world and our lives to make things better and to help us to live longer and in good health.

I now want to wish all my readers “good health” and encourage all of you to check into and do research on the latest discoveries that help us live longer and stronger and healthier than ever.

An Exercise Program for You

September 23, 2016 by  
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Last week I wrote about the “New Science of Exercise” as talked about in Time Magazine.  Since science has confirmed the huge benefits of exercise for both health and longevity, I thought it was pretty darn important to give some more specifics concerning exercise.

We all know that it takes mental and physical energy to make ourselves move and move enough that it really can make a difference for a good, healthy, long life.  As mentioned in the article, the World Health Organization advises “most adults to do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week and twice weekly muscle strengthening.”  But what counts as moderate-intensity exercise?

According to the article, moderate-intensity is “everything you think of as exercise plus lots of stuff you don’t, including brisk walking, playing with the kids, walking the dog, carrying heavy groceries or gardening.  Do at least 10 minutes at a time, and break it up however you want.”  This is great news because most of us could easily sneak in 10 minutes of activity here and there to make up that 150 minutes.

If you are hesitant to start or speed up your exercise program or, like many people, are not looking forward to the idea of starting a strength training regimen, please remember the ‘baby step’ concept.  You can go ahead and set big goals but concentrate on taking baby steps, especially at first so you don’t get discouraged. For instance, the recommended 150 minutes of aerobic activity a week may sound like a lot but break that up into chunks of time that work for you. It could be just two 11-minute play sessions with your kids or dog each day or 40 minutes of gardening 4 times a week or 30 minute chunks of time 5 days a week doing whatever aerobic activity sounds good that day.  Work in those two strength training sessions each week and you will be in really good shape to live a long and healthy life.

But if this still sounds like too much to take on right away, start with just 60 minutes the first few weeks—maybe 10 minutes a day with one day off–then gradually increase the number of minutes each day until you are at 150 minutes a week.

Here are a few other little secrets that have helped me with my exercise program.  First of all, I tried to work my baby steps into small but regular habits; like instead of driving down my very long drive way to pick up the morning paper I starting walking which takes about 15 minutes. Later on I started to zig zag my walk to increase the time and the total steps it took. Also, I began parking my car on the far end of the parking lot at whatever store I might need to go to. The great thing about these little activities, is that once they turn into habits, you don’t even think about what you are doing, you just automatically do it.

Another of my little secrets is that I made it a goal to get to know and hang out with more active people.  It’s also very helpful to be married to a wonderful person who seems to always be in motion. My wife helps even more by frequently asking me how much exercise or how many total steps and time I logged in for the day. Even my friends started asking me my total minutes or steps logged for the day or week. Having people around you that are interested in health and longevity and are doing it themselves, is very, very helpful and motivating. Try it and I’ll bet it works for you too!



Living a Life of Quality

November 19, 2010 by  
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With age, and the experience of achieving great success, it has become glaringly clear that wealth, power, status, fame, possessions, etc. do not, by themselves, add anything significant to the actual quality of our lives. Yes, I find having wealth is nice and allows me to do many wonderful things such as travel (like I am right now!), and I do thoroughly enjoy many of my physical possessions like my new house and all the bits and pieces my wife has brought in to make it a home, but these things are not how I measure how well I live.

Most of what makes a life worth living is not to be bought or collected but can be found in the experiences you have, what you give to others, what you accept, and how you choose to look at the world. It’s those many small steps that make up the journey that determine the true importance of the destination, not the destination itself.

If your ‘destination’ is great wealth, gaining that wealth will only be important if you’ve lived well, struggled often, and celebrated your small successes along the way. This is why lottery winners almost always end up unhappy. There was no journey, no sense of success and no memories that made up the path to their wealth. The money just became a condition of their life, not something that engaged their sense of personal acheivement.

This idea brings together much of what I’ve been talking about these past few weeks. Live in the moment, because these moments are what your life is truly made of. Choose to be happy or your life will be made of many disappointing moments and thus your life will be disappointing. And don’t forget to look for joy in the wonderful act of giving to others, acts that will infuse your life with the kind of treasure that you could never buy or fabricate.

Go ahead and go for the wealth and the status and whatever else you dream of. Just remember to live a quality life along the way, and keep up your passion for living, not just for the future life you’re after.