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" "There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only few will catch your heart...pursue those."
- Michael Nolan

How to Prevent a 'Broken Heart'

Ahhhh , Valentine’s day… synonymous with love, candy, chocolate, romance, flowers and … heart disease??? Okay maybe not the last one, but it should be; February is Heart Month. So I thought I’d piggyback on the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s February Heart Health Month campaign. In this issue you will learn the best exercises for your heart as well as how chocolate can help your heart! So read on ...

By the way…how are your New Year’s Resolutions coming along? This is the time when the faint at heart (couldn’t resist) start slipping – so pull out those resolutions and review them! Remember, excellence is a habit ... so just keep plugging away one day at a time. Be sure to visit our weight loss blog? and find out how Cheryl is doing on her weight loss journey.

Enjoy the newsletter!

Cathy Morenzie


Feature Article

How to Prevent a Broken Heart

Gee, that sounds like a song title! Now we all know you can’t literally break your heart, but you can do some serious irreversible damage if you don’t take care of it. Your heart is the only muscle in your body that never gets a rest but exercise keeps your heart muscle strong and healthy. Those who are physically inactive have twice the risk for heart disease and stroke ... here’s how exercise helps your heart:

  • Being overweight puts you at a higher risk for heart disease. As you exercise, you burn more calories which helps you to maintain a healthy weight.
  • High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, exercise helps to lower the build-up of plaque that clogs the arteries.
  • The stronger your heart muscle, the more blood it is able to pump with each beat (cardiac output). The result is that our non-exercising heart rate decreases, providing less stress to the heart.
  • High blood cholesterol is also a major risk factor in heart disease. Regular exercise sets off a series of enzymatic reactions in the body that increases the good cholesterol (HDL’s) and lowers the fats in the bloodstream (triglycerides.) This will ultimately lower LDL’s (“bad”) and total cholesterol, thereby decreasing your risk of heart disease.

How Much is Enough?

The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends Canadians make active living part of their daily lives. It doesn’t take a lot -- just move every day. Think of ways that you can move instead of being sedentary and find activities that you enjoy which fit into your lifestyle. By accumulating at least 20-60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week, you can live a healthier lifestyle, decrease your risk of many diseases and injuries, manage your weight , decrease pain and promote physiological well being. To get the full guidelines on how much, how often, how hard and how long your should exercise visit Active Image.

The Best Exercise for Your Heart

What is the best exercise for your heart? The one that you will do consistently and enjoyably. The benefits of exercise come from developing consistent exercise habits. Starting and stopping can actually be harmful to your health as your body may not be prepared for an activity if you have not done it in a while.

Although it may seem too wussy to some people, walking may be one of the best exercises for better heart health. Aside from the expense of a good pair of shoes, it is inexpensive, safe and fun (depending on the company).

So while you enjoy this Valentines Day, be sure to take the necessary precautions to prevent a ‘broken heart’


Nutrition Tip of the week

How Chocolate Can Help your Heart!

Now we chocolate lovers have even more reasons to rejoice! The studies are in and find that not only does chocolate taste good, but it’s also good for you. Like green tea, chocolate contains powerful antioxidants which have been shown to lower blood pressure as well as the risk of heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and other age-related maladies. (Source JAMA, Aug 27 06)

There is one catch; it must be dark chocolate, not milk chocolate, not dark chocolate combined with milk chocolate and not white chocolate! In fact, milk may even cancel out the benefits of eating dark chocolate. ( “Plasma antioxidants from chocolate,” Nature, 8/03). Who cares about milk anyway when you can have strawberries! Break out your fondue pots for health’s sake!
(Original article written for afrotoronto.com


Exercise of the Week

Exercise Description:

Oblique Abductor Raise

Muscles Worked:

Core, Adbuctors/adductors

Instructions:

  1. Start by getting into a lateral plank pose with your hips off the ground.
  2. Your only ground contact points should be your feet and elbow.
  3. Holding this position raise your outside leg keeping it straight until you reach full range of motion.
  4. Return your leg to the starting position and repeat for the desired repetitions.
  5. Switch sides and repeat.

About Cathy Morenzie

Cathy Morenzie is a certified personal fitness trainer, fitness instructor, and Pilates instructor. She specializes in providing creative fitness solutions for people on the go. She has trained thousands of clients and trainers over the last 15 years. For more FREE tips like these, contact us or call 416-410-8517 to schedule your complimentary session. Can't fit personal training sessions into your schedule, no problem - try our online personal training and receive the benefits of one-on-one personal training at a fraction of the cost.


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