Cardiac Yoga for Heart Health

Cardiac Yoga for Heart Health

Yoga for heart patients is important and easy to do. It is so important to take control of your heart health. If you have had a heart problem or a heart event starting a cardiac rehabilitation program is important and starting stress management techniques is important. Heart disease is reversible and cardiac yoga for heart health is right up there as a key component.

Cardiac yoga is very important to prevent and reverse heart disease. Research has shown that cardiac yoga can reverse and prevent heart disease. Being healthy it is important to also focus on your mind along with increasing range of motion through cardiac yoga. Cardiac yoga will help you keep focused and develop a positive mindset along with aiding in helping you sleep well.

Cardiac Yoga for Heart Health DVD:

The Heart Fit Clinic has released the cardiac yoga DVD program that can be obtained by clicking the link above. It is a regular price of $47 but will be $10 off plus purchasers will receive a free ebook copy of The Official Guide to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease ($47 value).

To your heart health success,

Diamond Fernandes

Fitness vs weight loss

Losing Weight with Heart Disease

So you have heart disease or you may be at risk of heart disease. Losing weight with heart disease is important. Your doctor said you have to lose weight. Absolutely this is important, and we have seen many successful people lose weight with heart disease. However there is a reason we are not a “weight loss” clinic. Weight loss is important and it will come. But our priority is to first get you healthy. Heart Fitness is more important than losing weight!

Heart Fitness is more important than losing weight states the latest research. Yes those who are in a “healthy” body mass index (<25) yet unfit are at substantial increased risk vs those who are in a “unhealthy” body mass index (>25) but are fit. It becomes more about managing your weight and improving your cardiovascular fitness especially after a heart problem  more than anything else. As I always state. Exercise is medicine so make sure you take your daily dose.

A study of 15,000 men published in Circulation, a journal of the American Heart Association, found that maintaining or improving fitness levels was associated with a lower risk of dying, even if bodyweight increased or remained the same.  Researchers also found that increased levels of activity, measured over a period of six years, was associated with a 19% lower risk of heart and circulatory disease.  

I know you may be struggling with your weight but start with your heart! Get active on a daily basis. The weight loss will come with exercise, nutrition and stress management but don’t let that be your focus.

To your success,

Diamond Fernandes

Soda Heart Risk

A Soda a Day Will NOT Keep Heart Disease Risk Away!


Sugar drinks are linked to an increased risk of coronary artery disease which also includes negative effects on cholesterol profile, increases inflammatory factors according to a Health Professional Follow up Study. A soda a day increases coronary heart disease risk by 20%.  

Just a small amount of sugar a day increases our heart disease risk. I know the lulu-lemon saying that soda will be the new alcohol, well it may be true. Yes, I know alcohol has some heart health benefits, but we know my thoughts on this. Pop, soda, soft drinks , whatever we call it has a 100% negative effect on our heart health. There is nothing good that can come from drinking it. It can lead to diabetes, increased waist girth, and increased triglycerides.  

Well what about artificially sweetened beverages such as diet sodas. The researchers in this latest study did not find an increased risk of coronary heart disease with artificially sweetened in this analysis. With that said, diet soda has been show to be associated with weight gain and metabolic diseases in previous studies. Dr. Hu talks about that the problem with diet soda is its high-intensity sweetened taste may condition people’s taste. Of course more research is required with this.  

So what are we left with. Fruit juices fall into this high sugar category. We know there is some moderate heart benefits with 1 glass of alcohol a day BUT a serious adverse effect once we abuse this drink a day. The best thing to drink is water, and teas. Doctors should be advising their patients who have heart disease or who are at risk of heart disease to cut down on sugar-beverages. It is a no-brainer, just like smoking and exercise. The research is out there and it makes sense.  

To your heart health success,
Diamond Fernandes

Reversing Heart Disease with Resilience

Reversing Heart Disease with 10 Steps to Resilience

I keep telling everyone that heart disease is frightening. If you have been diagnosed with some form of heart disease you now have a choice, a choice to be resilient or defeated. You may have heart disease but heart disease will never have you.

There is always going to be someone worse than you and someone better than you. Here are the keys to bouncing back.

  1. There are going to be peaks and valleys in your mood. The idea is to capitalise on your highs. There is going to be a little voice in your head pushing you down. You have to give yourself that pep talk.
  2. Taking control. You have to focus on what you have control over. You may not have control over your arterial disease, but you do have control on how you manage it. Set your goals.
  3. Find a team. Resist the urge to isolate yourself. Surround yourself and educate yourself with a good team. It could even mean finding a support group or an online forum.
  4. Show some gratitude. I know this may be difficult but count your blessings. Find 3 things at the beginning or end of the day in which you are thankful for.
  5. Keep a journal and keep track of your thoughts and progress.
  6. Think about your character’s greatest strengths.
  7. Find things you love to do. It could be some hobbies or favorite pastime.
  8. Stop saying “why me?” and start asking “Why not me? How am I going to handle this?”
  9. Keep your mind occupied. Don’t make time to feel sorry about yourself. Helping others is a great way to boost your resilience.
  10. Forgive, Accept and Adapt. It is easy to get angry and bitter. The best thing you can do to have resilience is to make the decision to forgive and then have the willingness to reinvent yourself.

Keep up the great focus.

To your heart health success,
Diamond Fernandes

Balancing cardiovascular risk and GI Risk

What is the Bleeding Risk with Cardiovascular Disease?

What is the bleeding risk with patients with cardiovascular disease? When patients end up in the cath lab cardiologists have to make a choice between cardiovascular risk and gasto-intestinal (GI) risk.  This post does talk about more so patients who have to go in the cath lab (angiogram) and get a stent.Cardiologists are  challenged with ischemic risk (lack of oxygen) vs bleeding burden to their patients having to balance optimal medical therapy such as anticoagulants or antiplatelets (asprin, plavix, warfarin etc).

Coming from a cardiovascular perspective they look at a few things.
1. Prior history of bleeding such as ulcers.

2. Older age

3. What other medications are being taken. Anticoagulants, steroids, NSAIDS including Asprin.

4. Potential drug interactions.

When patients are presented in the cath lab. Cardiologists will determine how concerned are they about the stent. Is it at a critical point. Are they concerned about stent thrombosis (blood clot inside blood vessel)? If they are concerned about GI bleeding they will probably introduce a drug PPI (Proton-pump Inhibitors) which reduces gastric acid production. Cardiologists in the cath lab should implement a good scoring system to determine cardiovascular (CV) and GI risk to determine to good course of action. The fact is that it is more frequently easy to fix GI bleeding with possible drugs or treatment vs CV risk which is much harder to fix.

If patients are taking these drugs longer term it is benefiting your cardiovascular risk but also putting your GI system at risk. It is important to look at your GI risk because it can be fixed when caught early but stopping your drugs early after an intervention is not advisable. Always talk to your healthcare team about your medications.

To your heart health success,

Diamond Fernandes

Is a stent the way to go?

Is a Stent the Way to GO?

Heart disease is frightening and yes medical intervention can help after a heart attack. But what if you are stable (what is stable? meaning no angina, probably a big debate within the community) ?

A new analysis of eight trials states that putting a stent in someone with stable coronary artery disease does not lower the risk of death, nor does a stent reduce to risk of nonfatal heart attacks vs medical therapy alone. Based on this data the researchers support that stable coronary artery disease patients should be treated with medical therapy vs going right into surgery with a stent.

I know that this can be hard to believe. Conventional thinking may think that opening up the artery is a good thing. Well if medical therapy is a better option for stable patients imagine the type of benefit that occurs when you really get into the nuts and bolts of a full lifestyle intervention.

I keep on telling you the benefits of exercise. It is in my opinion part of “medical therapy” yet no studies want to implement this aspect of it although we know the benefits. A strong heart health diet is important. What we put in our mouths can have an anti-inflammatory effect on our arteries. Your body is amazing at healing itself when provided with the right tools. We know that natural bypasses occur in our body.

Above all we have to set the right mind set. Starting with cardiologists who truly believe that patients heart health can get better. I know it is a business but caring about the patients heart health and talking about the importance of lifestyle intervention will prolong patient’s lives. Yes I know time is of the essence. But it only takes one minute to nail down the key message.

Cardiac rehabilitation is important. Understand your full heart health profile and truly implementing the changes to prevent and reverse heart disease.

To your heart health success,

Diamond Fernandes