Tim Russert’s Heart Attack Could Have Been Prevented by Performing Interval Cardio

I would like to first and foremost give my condolences to Tim’s family, friends, and fans. Russert (hosted Sunday morning political show, “Meet The Press” since 1991. And I believe that he was a very happy man that lived a great life as he impacted thousands of people with his soft, genuine, and charismatic personality. He always made everyone in the room feel very special. In my opinion, Russert could have prevented his death with three different choices.

o Should have gotten off of statin drugs to lower cholesterol and blood pressure medication. (Russert was on both for over 20 years)

o Should have exercised utilizing interval cardio (4-8 90 seconds cardio challenges)
Versus low intensity, long duration, slow go power-walking or jogging

o Should have been less anal about dieting, and focused more on a healthy lifestyle

Since I am passionate about helping others achieve a higher quality life through making healthier lifestyle choices, I am always trying to learn. I also am always trying to get my message out. In a nut shell, My message is that being as healthy & energetic as we can be, to be totally independent and self reliant into our 80′, 90’s, and even 100 (god willing) is about both genetics and environment. WE ARE IN CONTROL OF BOTH.

Obviously, we are not in control of our genetics; or are we? Most of us feel like we are not even in control of our environment. With the boss, the wife & kids, the “to do” list etc, most of us do not feel as though we are in control of anything, much less our health & our life style. . But I am here to tell you, that as you become more informed; you can take control of your health & fitness with a simple well thought out fatloss lifestyle program. Usually the more pain you are in, whether it is physical, mental, or emotional; the easier it is to make the necessary changes. As long as you listen to the pain and make the necessary changes.

We are in control of our environment. And when you stand up to take control of your health & lower your stress levels, you do impact your genetics of not only your future generations, but of your self and your present family members.

450,000 Americans die annually of heart attacks, and about 1/3 of those come on suddenly with no warning. Russert had a EKG stress test just six weeks before his death. Even with all the technology that we have today, the test.s just aren’t that great.

It was common for Russert to do 45 minutes of work on the treadmill 5-6 days per week. In fact he did an exercise session on the day of his death. Russerts passion for both work and family, and exhausting schedule needed to balance the two, may have added to his stress levels.

What can people do to lower their cariac risk factors? Live a balanced healthy fat loss lifestyle (versus dieting). Don’t smoke, and do the right type of cadio-vascular work.

On the health and longevity side of things please do not waste your time doing
slow go, low intensity, type cardio; like jogging 2-5 miles.

When you do interval cardio (or Fartlek as they used to call it) you;

o Burn more fat
o Build your heart (with more stroke volume) for less chance of heart disease
o Builds more muscle (look at the physique of a sprinter versus a marathon runner
o Forces your body to store the food that you eat as glycogen (fuel to be used as energy), creates an energy storage & fat burning body
o Is fun, interactive and much more time efficient than jogging
o Builds your lung capacity; which is the #1 factor in your ability to aging gracefully versus jogging which makes your lungs smaller
o Creates optimal hormones for health, versus jogging which throws your body into a hormonal roller coaster

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How can you save your life (or at least extend) by doing interval (fartlek) cardio?

TIP: Pick any mode that raises your heart rate. I prefer the treadmill, power walking and jogging are very functional and the tread absorbs much of the shock. But you can use swimming, biking, or even use and upper body ergometer (bicycle). We have handicapped clients who can’t walk doing interval cardio. Anyone can do it.

After a warm up do 6-9 ninety second challenges with each one getting slightly more challenging than the last. Rest enough between challenges to get your breath and energy back. Rest periods get longer between challenges as each one gets progressively more intense.

Make sure to stretch your legs on the front (quads), the back (hamstrings), inner thigh / groin, and buns (glutes) for 30 seconds each after challenge #1 and #5.

For treadmill interval sessions use both the incline & the speed on each challenge. For example on the first challenge power-walk for 60 seconds at a 2.0% incline at 4.0 mph (adjust speed and or incline if it is too easy or too hard) then jog at 5.0 mph for 30 seconds, then drive your knees high and turn the jog into a sprint for the final 15 seconds (use the same incline and speed as previous jog).

Now walk at your base-line speed (around 3.5 mph and 0 incline) to recover. When you feel good (about 1-2 minutes) start challenge #2. For each challenge increase incline by .5% and power-walk speed by .1 mph, and increase each jog by .2 mph for each progressive challenge.

So for challenge #2 perform a 60 second power-walk at 2.5% & 4.1 mph going right into a 30 second jog at 5.2 mph capped off by a 15 second sprint (use same speed and incline as jog). Then once again walk and recover at 3.5 mph and 0 incline. And so on.

There you have it, your very own personalized interval cardio session.

Until next time, live, laugh, love, and remember; you are in control!