New Year should always pronounce a clean slate. Well, it is a chance to bid farewell to suffocating habits that tend to damage our bodies, a way to welcome a better health.
However, most would probably ignore the fact that through the years, New Year turns out to be one of the most dangerous days of the year for people vulnerable to cardiac problems and for people who may have not noticed early stages of heart diseases.
“This time of year is notorious for heart attacks, heart failures, and arrhythmias,” said Dr. Samin Shama, Director of Interventional Cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Statistics show that Cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death, accounting for 17.3 million deaths per year, a number that is expected to grow to more than 23.6 million by 2030. Almost a decade ago, cardiovascular deaths have already represented 30 percent of all global deaths, with 80 percent of those deaths taking place in low- and middle-income countries (Mozaffarian D., et al, American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2015 update: a report from the American Heart Association).
Going back to the post holidays, it has been almost a culture seeing a surge in numbers of cardiac events days after Chistmas and/or New Year. What brought this? People may not want to make their families concerned during their celebrations even though they are already experiencing worrisome symptoms, or most likely misinterpret such symptoms as just plain hyperacidity or pain brought by too much eating and drinking. One of the main excuses patients say is that they were too occupied and had neglected their cardiovascular health.
Ironically, the New Year’s resolutions of most people always include exercise. (Kudos to gym and sports equipment shop owners who await all year for the staggering demand of customers). Nonetheless, February spells out resolutions as a mere distant memory without knowing there are really numerous benefits exercise brings.
How much should I exercise?
What most people want to know is how much and how intensely they should to reap the maximum benefit from exercising.
Rule of Thumb: Get at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise a week.
Moderate exercise means increasing breathing and sweating. It is not about panting like a dog. Assess your exercise by measuring your heart rate. You want to aim for about 50 to 70 percent of maximal predicted heart rate, or MPHR. Your maximal predicted heart rate is determined by your age. Under-exercising happens when a person’s heart rate is too low which results in a low intensity exercise. If a person is not working to their body’s potential, there is no way they can burn enough calories to result in weight loss nor can they get up the endurance to build strength. MPHR also relfects the inability of the heart to increase its rate commensurate with increased activity or demand (Lauer et al., 1999; Dresing et al., 2000).
Formula: 220 minus your age. Afterwards, multiply by 0.5 to 0.7 (percent of heart rate) to access your required heart beats per minute
Example: For 28 years old, your MPHR should be 192. 192 multiplied by 0.5 is 96, 192 multiplied by 0.7 is 134
Therefore your moderate exercise should be between 96 and 134 beats per minute to determine 50 to 70 percent of MPHR
Heart Disease Patients
A cardiac rehabilitation phase 2 program are required then for patients with heart disease, such as those who have had a heart attack, bypass surgery or stents put in. A cardiac rehabilitation phase 2 is a 12-week program where you exercise three times a week for one hour with an exercise therapist under physician supervision in a hospital.
Occupational therapy is also given to improve your heart's functional status. This includes helping people with a physical, sensory, or cognitive disability to become as independent as possible in all areas of their lives. A good cardiac rehab program will assess your heart's functional status before the start of the program and designing an individualized program. This is done so that your functional status can be improved throughout the 12-week program.