Category Archives: Heart Health

Treadmill 2.0

Last week we talked about how to take advantage of nice days and get the heck away from the treadmill.  Today we’ll cover a few ways to keep the time you DO have to spend on the treadmill both interesting and beneficial.

It’s easy to just be a hamster on a wheel, plugging away for mile after mile doing the same workout, at the same pace, probably with the same blank expression on your face.  Here are five ways to mix it up. Continue Reading

Heart Health roundup, new blog category

Well that’s it for Heart Health Awareness Month.  All through February we’ve been featuring heart-focused content ranging from heart health resources to heart-friendly training tips.

We wanted to close the month with a full roundup of everything we’ve covered.  Take a look at the links below for the titles and links for this month’s posts, all geared towards keeping heart-healthy while training heart-smart. Continue Reading

Heart Health: So what’s the deal with cholesterol, anyway?

Cholesterol is just one of those things.  You know it’s important, but it isn’t exactly an issue to get excited about.  Still, it can have a profound impact on your health, especially in the long term.  And taking control now can dramatically reduce cholesterol complications later in life.

Here are some thoughts on getting a handle on your cholesterol, starting with the basics: what’s up with that good-cholesterol/bad-cholesterol deal anyway? Continue Reading

Four ways to train with heart rate

All this week we’ve been talking about heart rate training, from the basic target zones to calculating your target heart rate.  We tried to keep things at an introductory level  of detail, but hopefully we’ve given you enough to start thinking about how monitoring your heart rate can play a role in your training as a runner and athlete.

Today we’re going to tie it together with a few types of workouts you can use to do just that. Continue Reading

Finding your target heart rate

This week we’re talking about heart rate training zones, starting off with Monday’s post, which breaks down the basics.  Each of the target heart rate zones described is based on either your maximum heart rate or your target heart rate.  So today, we’re going to talk a little bit about what that means and how you can calculate it. Continue Reading

Heart Rate: Know your training zone

For Heart Health Awareness month, we’ve been talking a lot about what it takes to keep our hearts generally healthy and firing on all cylinders.  What we haven’t discussed is how paying attention to your heart during workouts can help you get more out of every training session.

Keeping an eye on your heart rate throughout your workout can help you keep track of what you’re demanding of your body and monitor how successfully you’re responding to various levels of intensity.  Think of heart rate like the RPMs in a car – ranging from idle (resting heart rate) to red line (max heart rate).  In between those two points is where most of your productive training will take place.

Here are some generally agreed-upon ranges for various heart rate training zones.  Keep in mind you might see these elsewhere under slightly different headings with slightly different percentages. Continue Reading

Do you know the signs of a heart attack?

We’re going to keep this post short and sweet, not because the subject isn’t important, but because the subject is really important.

Do you know the signs of a heart attack?  Recognizing the danger and acting quickly to get help is the biggest factor in saving someone’s life in a heart-attack situation.

Here are the signs, courtesy of the American Heart Association.

Chest Discomfort

Think pressure, squeezing, a sensation of swelling, or just intense pain.  This might be constant or it might come and go over a period of time.

Discomfort Elsewhere

In addition to chest pain, a heart attack can trigger pain in the arms, jaw, neck, back, or stomach.

Shortness of Breath

This is a big one.  As chest pain worsens, the victim may have difficulty breathing, ranging from mild to more extreme.

Other (less obvious) Symptoms

Along with the signs above, a person having a heart attack might become nauseous, lightheaded, or break out in a cold sweat.

The bottom line is that recognizing these symptoms as serious and getting medical help on the way as soon as possible can literally be the difference between life and death.  For more on heart attacks, check out the AMA’s Heart Attack Website, which has tons of great information about prevention, treatment, recovery, and more.

Stress and your heart

Hope everybody had a happy Valentine’s Day!  (If not, go for a run.  You’ll feel better.)

Today we’re continuing this month’s theme of heart health by talking about a sometimes less-than-straightforward issue: stress.

Stress is a tricky thing, particularly when it comes to your heart.  Respectable doctors can disagree on what exactly is the relationship between stress and health.  Does high stress lead directly to crummy health?  Or does high stress simply lead to bad habits like eating too much or exercising too little — two things that can certainly start you down the road to feeling lousy?

Either way, one thing is clear.  Controlling your stress levels is good for your health.  Here are four no-pressure ways to do it, starting right away. Continue Reading

Make room for dark chocolate this V-Day

‘Tis the season for chocolate.  Heart-shaped-box chocolate.  Filled-with-gooey-goodness chocolate.  Fifty-percent-off-on-Wednesday chocolate.

For whatever reason, chocolate is  a romantic thing.  For a lot of us it’s the best possible end to any meal, a go-to comfort food, and the Achilles’ Heel to the most regimented training diet.

Well we’re not going to go toe-to-toe with anyone’s love for chocolate, especially the day before Valentine’s Day.  But in the spirit of American Heart Month, we wanted to point out that chocolate doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure…but it does matter what kind you get. Continue Reading

Ten things you can start doing for your heart right away

Thanks to American Heart Month, there’s a lot of information flying around right now about how important it is to take care of our hearts and stay healthy in general.  With so much good insight and advice out there, it can be easy to get overwhelmed.  So today, we’re going to be super-focused and give you 10 incredibly easy things that you can start doing for your heart right now. Continue Reading