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Are You Having A Heart Attack

(category: Cardio, Word count: 327)
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Heart attacks come in all sizes, from minor to major, and the symptoms of a pending heart attack can be deceiving in many cases. Some symptoms of a pending heart attack may have been showing up for quite awhile and were ignored as something else.

Pending heart attack symptoms mask themselves as indigestion, being overworked and tired all the time, and taking naps several times a day.

During a real heart attack, you may feel feverish, have a nauseous sick feeling, shortness of breath, labored breathing, sweating, tingling in arms, chest pain, heaviness in the chest area like someone is pushing on your chest and various other indications.

Your life may depend on you making the right decision within minutes, is what you are feeling a heart attack... as a quick response time in calling for help... 911... could be the determining factor that saves your life. Its better to be wrong, than to be right and not get help on the way ASAP!

One of the major causes of a heart attack is the restriction of blood flow to the heart muscle, which causes any number of symptoms. But the bottom line is, how severe is your heart attack. That will in many ways determine what symptoms you experience. The more severy the blockage, the more severe the heart attack symptoms in most cases. The blockage may occure due to a blood clot, or material buildup inside the artery walls that breaks loose.

Many hospitals are not fully equipted to deal with heart attack victims, and will transfer the patient by air to a hospital or medical center with a heart attack specialist who can determine how bad it was, and one who has the skill to repair the damage caused by the heart attack.

The quicker the blood flow to the heart muscle is restored, the better your chance for a complete recovery from your heart attack.

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Know Your Heart Health

(category: Cardio, Word count: 431)
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We all know that keeping up with our heart health is an important thing to do. We all know that there are a wide variety of factors that cause heart problems, and we should know by now that there are some basic ways to help protect the health of our hearts. What many people do not realize, however, is that keys to their heart health may be different than keys to the heart health of others.

There are almost as many strategies and tips for having good heart health as there are people with hearts in the world. It is important that each person takes the time to learn about his or her own heart health and to learn about the possible methods of ensuring heart health for years to come.

One of the best ways for anyone to become familiar with the needs of their heart is to see a physician. Schedule a visit to see your doctor and plan to discuss your heart health with him or her. If you can think of any questions or concerns you have regarding your heart health, write them down and bring them along. It will also be very helpful if you have a record of your extended family's heart health history. It is likely that your physician will want to discuss more than just your own heart health. He or she will want to look for patterns or trends that have affected other people you're related to.

A physician can help you determine not only the current health of your heart, but also give you a better understanding of specific things you can do to help prevent heart attack or heart disease. For some people, the most significant factor in achieving and maintaining heart health is to change their diet. The foods we choose to put into our bodies affect our heart health in more ways than we know. Eating large amounts of sugar, carbohydrates or processed foods will eventually take their toll on our heart health. Your physician can set you up with a dietician who specializes in creating unique diet plans that promote heart health.

For other people, it is their exercise and physical fitness habits that a physician will address. Heart health can be significantly altered based upon a person's level of exercise. Your physician will be able to help you create a fitness plan that will be effective for you and your heart health needs.

It is never too late to take your heart health seriously. Make an appointment to see your physician today.

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Blood Cord Bank An Introduction To Cord Blood Stem Cells

(category: Cardio, Word count: 582)
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Finding a source of primitive stem cells.

There are news reports about the positive impact that research on cord blood stem cells is having on the possible cure for numerous life threatening diseases. But with so many varying reports about it or even factions it is impossible to keep track of all its useful facts. Stem cells show a great level of plasticity which means they can generate and regenerate into many different types of cells and even organs within in our body. Potentially, if they can be removed from the donor and transfused into the patient then in the future, stem cells could be used to cure virtually any illness.

Stem cells are more frequently found in babies or even in embryos although it has been discovered that adult stem cells do exist. To date these have mostly been found in the brain but are dispersed freely amongst millions of other cells making the extraction incredibly difficult.

Cord blood stem cells, on the other hand, are very easy to remove. Because the process is completed after the child has been born and the umbilical cord cut and clamped there is no effect whatsoever on the baby, the parent or the birth itself.

How stem cells become T cells.

T cells are the cells that are responsible for fighting infection in children and are created when stem cells pass through the thymus gland. If the patient does not have an adequate number of effective stem cells in their blood then they will not be able to create the T cells. And subsequently they are much more likely to suffer serious infections. This, in turn, means that cord blood stem cells can be used to recreate T cells as well as other vital cells within the body of your child. The stem cells will then create an army of T cells to fight off infection and leave the body to function in a normal manner. As with a blood transfusion it is imperative to the operation's success that the stem cells transfused are of the same type as the patient's own blood. Using cord blood stem cells belonging to the patient themselves all but guarantees that this will be the case.

Stem cell testing.

The umbilical cord stem cell matrix is called Wharton's jelly and is rich in primitive stem cells. These cells are one that has yet to progress, transform or produce other cells. Primitive stem cells are the most effective type of stem cells that can be used in a transfusion on any patient.

Typically a lot of testing has been done on animals to prove the viability of using stem cells taken from cord blood of newborn babies and amongst the most prominent of these tests, according to the online journal "stem cells", have been tests carried out on pigs. In a human blood cord, similar to a pig umbilical cord, two arteries & vein are found and tests have shown positive results concerned with the storage and potency of the blood. The journal "stem cells" contains a lot of data relating to stem cells and articles on various related topics.

At present leukemia and anemia are the two most common diseases treated with stem cell transfusions although since stem cell research has grown in volume and results diseases such as Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis and many different forms of cancer are also showing positive results.

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Helping Students Survive Sudden Cardiac Arrest

(category: Cardio, Word count: 294)
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Right now, millions of students across the country are participating in physical activities at their schools - a basketball or soccer game, football and cheerleading practice or gym class. What if one of them had a life-threatening cardiac emergency? Would the school be prepared?

Sudden cardiac arrest strikes more than 340,000 Americans each year, including children and teens, usually without warning. Heart conditions tend to go undetected and often manifest themselves during physical activity. In the event of a cardiac arrest, a quick response and the early use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) are critical to improving the chances of survival.

According to the American Heart Association, early use of AEDs - portable devices that analyze the heart's rhythm and deliver an electric shock to reestablish a normal heartbeat -could raise the chance of survival by 20 percent or more.

"Nearly 95 percent of cardiac arrest victims die - usually because defibrillation occurs too late," said Dr. Vincent Mosesso Jr. of the National Center for Early Defibrillation based at the University of Pittsburgh. "Every minute that passes before returning the heart to a normal rhythm decreases the chance of survival by 10 percent. Patients who receive CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation] and a defibrillator shock within three minutes of going into sudden cardiac arrest have the best odds of survival."

Unfortunately, many schools aren't equipped with AEDs.

For that reason, Duracell and Zoll Medical Corp. have teamed up to help inform parents and educators about the importance of being prepared for these critical situations.

"Through this campaign, we want to work with communities across the country to provide their schools with the tools necessary to help save lives," said Kara Salzillo, manager of brand communications for Duracell.

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Blood Pressure Monitors Why You Should Consider Monitoring At Home

(category: Cardio, Word count: 764)
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Of all the organs of our body the heart is without doubt the most critical and rightly so as, if it stops pumping blood around the body and delivering vital oxygen to the other organs, including the brain, death will occur very quickly.

Despite its importance however many of us pay little if any attention to the health of our heart until forced to do so, when it is often too late. And yet keeping a check on the heart by simple routine measurement of our blood pressure could not be easier.

As with most things in life, if the heart starts to run into problems then there will be warning signs giving us time to take remedial action and these warning signs often come in the form of abnormally high or low blood pressure.

The principle role of the heart is to take freshly oxygenated blood and pump it through the main arteries and then through a network of smaller blood vessels to all parts of the body. As the heart contracts forcing blood out into the arteries pressure is exerted on the walls of the arteries. Then, as the heart relaxes and its chambers refill ready to pump again the pressure in the arteries falls.

By measuring these two pressure levels we can get an indication of just how well the heart is pumping blood around the body and thus see whether or not it is working normally.

Until quite recently it was necessary to visit the doctor's office to have your blood pressure measured. The doctor would place a cuff around your upper arm roughly at the level of the heart. He would then place his stethoscope over the brachial artery where it runs close to the surface of the skin on the inside of your arm at the elbow and proceed to inflate the cuff.

As the cuff is inflated it tightens around the arm preventing blood from flowing through the brachial artery. The pressure in the cuff, which is indicated by a mercury manometer attached to the cuff, is slowly released and the point at which blood starts flowing through the artery, and which the doctor hears as a "whoosing" sound through his stethoscope, is noted. This is the point at which the pressure in the cuff equals the pressure in the artery as the heart pumps blood through it and is known as the systolic pressure.

The doctor then continues to slowly release the pressure in the cuff and to monitor the sound of blood being pumped through the artery until no sound at all is detected. At this point the manometer indicates the pressure in the artery as the heart is at rest and refilling ready to pump again. This lower pressure is known as the diastolic pressure.

Blood pressure will vary from person to person and will also rise and fall within each of us depending on a variety of factors such as the time of day, our level of activity, whether we are feeling stressed, our general state of health and whether or not we are currently taking particular forms of medication.

For the average person at rest however systolic blood pressure will be around 120 mm Hg (millimeters of mercury) and diastolic blood pressure will be 80 mm Hg. As an indication of the degree of variation between individuals, and within any one person, the normal range of systolic pressure is considered to be 90 - 135 mm Hg and the normal range of diastolic pressure is 50 - 90 mm Hg.

If your blood pressure falls outside these readings, then your doctor will need to investigate further to discover why your blood pressure in either unusually high or unusually low.

Since most of us do not visit the doctor on a regular basis, and only venture into the surgery when we absolutely have to, it can often be many months, or even years, between blood pressure checks and we could well be walking around blissfully unaware that we have a time bomb ticking away inside us.

Today however there is a whole range of very simple to operate and relatively inexpensive blood pressure monitors available for use in our own homes and absolutely no reason at all for not keeping a regular eye on our most valuable organ.

So, before tragedy strikes either you or one of your loved ones, why not take a few minutes to check out the range of blood pressure monitors available and buy yourself some peace of mind.

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Health And Fitness Essentials The Cardio Vascular Workout

(category: Cardio, Word count: 1055)
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To accomplish a good cardio-vascular workout all you really need is a good pair of running shoes. Most cardio-vascular exercise needs little or no third party apparatus to help you accomplish your routine. Running, dancing, walking can all be done with no equipment (well, if dancing, then maybe some music would help). Other forms of cardio are step, circuit training, bike riding, swimming, aerobics and more...

With most exercise you should always remember to warm up first and cool down afterwards. This means gently stretching and moving your muscles to start off with. Suddenly moving into full exercise without building up first will cause problems such as stiffness and cramps. Ease yourself into it. Then after exercise, the cool down is basically gently moving the muscles and joints to stretch and relax, as your body returns to its normal pace.

Running:

Make sure you have a good pair of running shoes. The technology put into these shoes nowadays is highly researched and designed to reduce shock to the feet, ankles, legs and back. So don't skimp on these - you get what you pay for.

Before you start your run, be sure to warm up first. Start with a brisk walk ensuring you move your arms vigorously gradually breaking into a slow jog. It is better to run at a speed to which you can still converse. If you find yourself losing breath, slow your pace down until you've recovered. If you are a novice runner try running and walking, until you can hold your run for 15 minutes.

Now increase the length and time of your run by a couple of minutes every other time you hit the road or treadmill, until you can run for 30 minutes without stopping. Try to increase your run time by 10% each week, remember not to over do it and don't forget to warm down at the end of each by slowing down gradually. When your run is complete stretch your legs for 30 seconds per muscle, hamstring, calf and thigh.

Cycling:

Cycling is one of the best ways to get a good cardio-vascular workout.

First of all, if you are riding on the roads safety is paramount, always use the appropriate safety equipment when road riding. You can stay fit by riding a bike to work, most people work within a five mile radius of there place of work, which is a perfect distance for a bike ride.

Exercise bikes can be used in a variety of ways, general riding for specified length of time, this is like going for a bike ride with out the dangers of road riding and the weather. Warm up riding you can use an exercise bike for warming up the legs before a leg workout. Also exercise bike classes, these classes are taken by an instructor, who will put you through various levels of pace, quite like a circuit training exercise with a bike.

You may find it surprising to find that riding a bike five miles 3 times per week will improve your heart rate, your posture, skin and weight control. Some even say that riding and running are great ways of relieving stress.

Swimming:

One of the best ways to firm up and trim your body down. Due to the resistance the water has on the body swimming involves all the major muscle groups this allows the body to burn up to 20% more calories than swimming through air. Swimming a few lengths per day will keep you fit and give you an excellent workout. Swimming also has less impact on the joints than say, running.

If you wish to take your swim a little further try picking up the pace of your swim, you can work up to a great aerobic exercise and give your body an excellent workout.

Start off by swimming 1-2 lengths at a time resting between sets if necessary, after you have swam ten lengths call it a day. The next day repeat the process until you can swim five lengths without a break. Progress to ten lengths in by adding an extra length each time you return.

You can put together your own cardio raining routing in the gym, if you have a problem with this then the staff on hand will write one for you and show you how to achieve your goal. Try to make your cardio last between an hour and an hour and a half. A good start point for cardio is always a run.

This cardio workout will work for a person of medium fitness, however adjust the times and pace according to your fitness levels.

1. Run at a light pace for 20 minutes, start off at a walking pace and gradually move to a run, this helps you get warmed up and the blood pumping.

2. Rowing machine- set the rowing machine for a countdown time of 15 minutes or keep a check on your watch or the clock. Start off with a slow rowing motion to get the pace up, maintain this steady pace throughout the full 13 minutes and use the 2 minutes to slow the pace down.

3. Move immediately on to exercise bike take a stead paced ride for 12 minutes with a sprint finish for the remaining 3 minutes.

4. After the exercise bike move directly on to the step climber for a period of 15 minutes climbing on a light level to get the legs going. Try to move at a swift pace for the full 15 minutes as this is the last of the leg work you will be doing.

5. When you have completed the step climber, move onto the abs bench for some crunches. 4 sets of crunches to failure is your target for this exercise. Try twisting your body and touching your left knee with your right elbow and vice versa.

6. The last exercise in this quick cardio workout is the leg raise apparatus. Bring your knees up to your chest for 3-4 sets for as many reps as possible (failure)

After the completion of this cardio workout, remember to do a full warm down by stretching the muscles. The full workout should take you around 1 hour 20 minutes.

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Improving Cardiovascular And Mental Health One Step At A Time

(category: Cardio, Word count: 417)
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One of the most natural things that an individual does every day is to walk. For years, this single act has been linked to improving cardiovascular health. The reason is because, generally, walking is a safe movement that isn't likely to cause injury. New studies have shown that walking is also a terrific way to improve your mood. The next time you are feeling a little blue, there may be a way to walk it off - literally.

A recent study paired individuals into groups, one of which spent 30 minutes on a treadmill and the other that participated in 30 minutes of rest. Each group's progress was monitored throughout the treatment with a conclusion that both groups reported having less negative feelings at the end of the study, along with less stress and tension. The difference, however, was found when the group that spent 30 minutes walking also noted an overall improvement in well-being.

While the study further proves the theory that walking is good for mental health, as well as physical, it also lends credence to the theory that people who walk feel better overall. It also proves that an individual does not have to be outside in order to enjoy the benefits of walking. This simple exercise can be achieved with a treadmill or by simply walking in place while tuning into a favorite movie or television show.

Anyone who has been diagnosed as having clinical depression or other illnesses should not ignore, or disregard, his/her medical treatment program. Walking is simply a way to sometimes add further improvement to certain conditions. A simple 30 minute walk can benefit an individual's mood, improve cardiovascular health and combat obesity all at the same time. In order to be effective, many people find that a daily walking schedule will help to keep them motivated and improve their spirits. In addition, a regular schedule will ensure that there is a time set aside for a walk. It's very easy to think, "I'll get around to it later," but something more often than not will distract individuals away from exercise unless they have a certain schedule that is followed every day.

The information in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered as, or used in place of, medical advice or professional recommendations for an exercise regimen. Every individual should consult his/her physician prior to beginning any program consisting of diet and/or exercise.

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Safe Alternative Treatment For High Blood Pressure Part 1

(category: Cardio, Word count: 403)
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Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of the arteries each time your heart beats. Your blood pressure is highest each time the heart beats, pumping blood into the arteries. This is called systolic pressure, and is the high number in your reading. The diastolic pressure measures the pressure in between beats, when your heart is at rest. Your blood pressure is lowest while sleeping and although it varies some during the day, it remains close to the same. Normal blood pressure is 120/80. If your systolic pressure rises to 140 or above, or if your diastolic pressure rises to 90 or above, this is considered high blood pressure.

According to the American Heart Association, an estimated one in three U.S. adults have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, and an alarming one-third of those don't even know they have it. It's no wonder this condition has long been called "the silent killer". High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke, heart attack, heart failure and kidney failure. And when it exists with obesity, smoking, high blood cholesterol or diabetes, the risk of heart attack or stroke increases several times. If you don't have high blood pressure by age 55, your chance of developing it at some point in your life is 90 percent, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Although high blood pressure can occur in both children and adults, it is most common in those over age 35, and is most prevalent in African Americans, middle-aged and elderly people, obese people, heavy drinkers and women taking birth control pills. Although many people get high blood pressure as they get older, it is not part of the aging process! Proper diet, exercise and lifestyle changes can help in prevention and lowering of blood pressure.

Commonly Prescribed Medication for High Blood Pressure

In 90-95 percent of cases, research scientists don't know what causes high blood pressure, but fortunately they know enough to have developed both drug and non-drug products to treat it effectively.

A wide variety of medications are available to medical professionals for treating high blood pressure. Although other classes of medications are sometimes prescribed, the most commonly prescribed can be broken down into five different classes of medications that work in different ways to lower pressure.

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Trans Fats Are Another Cause Of High Blood Pressure

(category: Cardio, Word count: 612)
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When the demand for butter exceeded the ability of farmers to supply this desirable fat ... the search for a substitute started us on a road to trans fats, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Not until 20 years ago did we finally discover the dangers of trans fats.

How Did Trans Fats Enter our Food Supply?

In the 1860s butter was in great demand and there just wasn't enough to satisfy everybody. Emperor Louis Napoleon III offered a prize for a substitute ... and so, the first margarine was invented by a French chemist. It was created from clarified beef fat.

It wasn't until 40 years later that the process of hydrogenation was developed ... and the door to deadly trans fats was opened. Butter rationing during two worlds wars and the lower cost of margarine ... had more and more people switching to this butter substitute - made from cheap vegetable fats.

When vegetable oils are hydrogenated ... their molecules are chemically re-arranged. This produces a fat - trans fat - that becomes semi-hard at room temperature. Basically, trans fats mimic the saturated fats that our taste buds love. We are naturally drawn to the taste and the consistency.

The semi-solid trans fats are great for baking ... and not expensive like butter or lard. This is a big plus for food processors ... and the reason trans fats are found in most baked goods - as well as fried foods. While this cheap alternative to butter is a boon for the food makers ... it is a dangerous bust for consumers. In the US alone, an estimated 100,000 people die prematurely every year ... due to the use of trans fats.

So What's so Bad About Trans Fats?

Trans fats have the worst effect on your cholesterol levels of all fats. They drive up your levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol ... at the same time lowering your levels of heart-protective HDL cholesterol. Trans fats' overall effect on your cholesterol levels is ... twice as bad as the effect of saturated fats.

Recently, trans fats have also come under fire for damaging the lining of your arteries. It's this damage that leads to hardening of the arteries and higher blood pressure. The linings of your arteries play a very important role in controlling blood pressure. When these vital linings become damaged, their function is impaired - resulting in high blood pressure.

How Can You Avoid Trans Fats?

Although trans fats were first used in margarine ... most margarines have eliminated this deadly fat. But, they're still found in many baked goods and fried foods. In fact, because of their low cost and convenience - trans fats keep foods from spoiling - hydrogenated oils are being used even more.

Keep clear of donuts, French fries, pastries, fast foods ... even the seemingly healthy granola bar often contains this dangerous fat. Check labels carefully ... avoid any food that contains hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Finally, a Little Help from the FDA

Fortunately, it is starting to get easier to find these dangerous trans fats - and avoid them. As of January 2006, the FDA is requiring food makers to list the trans fat content ... on the Nutrition Facts label found on all products.

Even a small amount of trans fats in your diet is bad for your heart health. Switch over to healthier fats today. Not all fats are bad for you. In fact, some fats will even help you lower your blood pressure. Olive oil, nuts, and fatty fish will give your body a good dose of healthy fats.

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