Heart attacks occur most often on Monday mornings, but research shows a 25 percent jump in the number of heart attacks occurring the Monday after we spring forward for daylight saving time, compared to other Mondays during the year.
Steven Bolling, M.D., a heart surgeon at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center, who like the rest of us tries to fit in some daily exercise — has been running to work every day for the past 30 years. It’s physical activity and it’s stress relief for the 60-year-old who fixes faulty heart valves.
He’s one of the busiest mitral valve surgeons in the country, helping patients whose hearts are forced to work harder when their mitral valve isn’t working properly. The operations take three to four hours and he usually does two cases a day.
Before hitting the road for his 6-mile run, he shared a few thoughts about his routine:
Athletic as a kid
As a kid I was a swimmer. When I pulled myself out of the pool I figured I’d better do something to stay active so I started running. I’ve basically run every day since then: college, medical school, residency and now that I’m on the faculty (as a professor of cardiac surgery).
My Zen moment
My motivation to go to work running is basically that it’s my Zen moment. I really take that time out and that’s when I think about stuff.
Practice what I preach
Some of my patients know that I run to work every day and they think it’s fascinating. They think it’s great that I’m getting in cardio every day. To practice what you preach is a good philosophy. I don’t know that running to work every day is practical for everyone, but doctors really should be examples for our patients.
Steven Bolling, M.D., is the medical director of the U-M Mitral Valve Clinic. After earning a medical degree at the University of Michigan Medical School, he completed his surgical residency and cardiothoracic surgery training at Johns Hopkins. At the U-M, he leads cardio-protective lab research and tests minimally invasive strategies for treating mitral valve disease and tricuspid valve replacement.
Ask women when they’re at risk for heart disease, and they may say they have until after menopause to start thinking about their cardiovascular health.
Not only is this wrong, it’s also dangerous because it prevents women from taking signs of heart disease seriously.
“The idea that heart disease is not a major risk for women is the biggest myth we need to counter,” says Claire Duvernoy, M.D., chief of cardiology at VA Ann Arbor Healthcare and an interventional cardiologist at the U-M Frankel Cardiovascular Center. “The truth is that more women die from cardiovascular disease than all forms of cancer combined.”
The good news is that women can lower their risk for heart disease, and campaigns like Go Red for Women, which celebrates National Wear Red Day, Feb. 7, inspires women to stand together for what is the fight for their lives. Every minute a women dies from heart disease, and 1 in 3 women’s deaths are caused by heart disease. Continue reading →
Men more than women are at risk for sleep problems that raise the risk for hypertension, stroke, heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues.
Heavy snoring can sound funny to your sleep partner and annoy them terribly, but it is no joke. It is often the sign of a condition called obstructive sleep apnea, which we now know raises the risk for diabetes, obesity, hypertension, strokes, heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.
People with obstructive sleep apnea stop breathing for 10-20 seconds while they sleep, and this can occur from a few to hundreds of time a night. Snoring doesn’t occur in every case of sleep apnea, and all people who snore don’t have sleep apnea, but anyone who is told they snore should consider obstructive sleep apnea as a possible cause. Continue reading →
The process of growing old. We all face it — if we’re lucky. We all fear it. Some do it gracefully, and some are not so lucky. What’s the secret to aging and doing it well? Is it genetics, attitude, environment, diet, love, or an active lifestyle – perhaps all of these?
Dr. Kim Eagle joins the conversation as the PBS TV series “The Embrace of Aging” follows the personal stories of men at various ages and stages of their lives. “You cannot beat it. You have to just do it,” Eagle says in the series that examines heart disease, prostate cancer, weight gain, relationships, exercise and man caves.
Eagle cared for coaching legend Bo Schembechler during his battle with heart disease, a disease progression that Eagle says “played out … like a football game.”
The film promises to be an in-depth documentary that will traverse the world to discover how men from diverse environments and of different cultures face the inevitable. How do they embrace aging? Continue reading →
You don’t have to be an expert in yoga to realize the tremendous benefits of various poses, including improved muscle strength, better balance and the ability to do other forms of exercise. But that’s not all: Yoga also promotes breathing techniques that can help reduce stress, relax your body and mind and lower your blood pressure, promoting heart health.
According to University of Michigan Exercise Physiologist Marla Larson, many yoga postures that can be performed by just about anyone, with certain modifications for those who require them.
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