Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants

A common statistic within the fitness industry is the 70% dropout rate by the third month of a lifestyle-change program.  True - most fitness groups see more than two out of every three clients quit within three months.  PPT's numbers are vastly lower, generally seeing fewer than 5% abandon their programs within the first three months.

Part of what makes PPT's dropout rate so much lower than our competitors is that by embracing the science of exercise & lifestyle change, we see far better safety, efficacy and achievement. The way most of our clients see it, it is easy to stay with a program when you look good, feel good and avoid injuries!

In this article, we'll hone in on the specifics involved in building a healthy heart with a minimal risk for cardiovascular disease, America's #1 killer.  In case you're not quite sure what "cardiovascular disease" really is, it is far more than just heart failure or heart attacks.  Stroke, any form of arterial disease, inflammatory heart diseases and many other disorders fall into this category.

Reducing risk is a lot easier than you might think, even if your doctor believes there to be a genetic link.  "The Heart Wants What The Heart Wants", and below we'll outline the 5 key checkpoints that your heart wants from you, and that we can monitor regularly:

#5:  The right cardiovascular training protocol:  We've said it before and we'll say it again - studies show that most people need at least three to five days per week of cardiovascular training at at least 60% of their maximum capacity for exercise, generally for over 20 consecutive minutes.  Diabetics need more; the very athletic sometimes need less.  The bottom line is that without personalized, steady cardiovascular conditioning, your heart and lungs are at greater risk.

#4:  An appropriate body composition:  Easily monitored by your PPT provider, we compare your muscle-to-fat ratio to that of healthy norms for your gender and age.  This is a far more valuable metric than simply assessing height-to-weight, as height-to-weight will count every pound against you - even healthy weight such as bone, water or muscle tissue.  Body composition is a rare form of evaluation but has remarkably strong ties to determining tangible health outcomes for your future, and staying within the healthy range will help to make your heart much healthier than it would be otherwise.

#3:  Quality sleep patterns:  People tend to measure their sleep in terms of hours, but studies on sleep and its value in predicting health show that the depth of one's sleep is more critical than the number of total hours.  Additionally, heart health shows improvements in people who keep to a fairly regular bedtime, usually at approximately 10pm.  While sleep needs vary from person to person based on activity, stress, the environment and other factors, we find that most people need over seven hours per night to maintain healthy hormonal balance and a healthier cardiovascular system.

#2:  Hydration:  Staying hydrated is essential through every moment of your day and night.  There is not one activity that your body can perform without water, and when it has less water than it should, that activity is harder on your body.  Don't wear out sooner than you have to. Keep your heart strong by consuming the appropriate amount of water each day.  (Your PPT Client Services team have your personalized answer.)

#1:  The right meal plan:  Fruits and vegetables (organic preferred) are a big part of keeping the heart healthy, as are appropriate intake of vitamins, minerals, anti-inflammatories and healing herbs.  Your PPT team will provide specific numbers of servings to consume each day based on your weight and activity level, and studies show that the closer you get to these numbers the better off you'll be.  Stay out of the hospital and give your heart the phytochemicals and nutrients to maintain itself well as you age.

There are other critical factors as well, but these five checkpoints are manageable, measurable, and relatively straight-forward.  If you're already a client then please contact Client Services to help you better manage your personalized values so that you can make these checkpoints a reality.  If you're not yet a client, then request to become one in 2017!  Your heart will thank you for it!

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