Over40.it, our new e-zine dedicated to you, a splendid over forty-years-old woman who looks at life as the best part is here and now.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Changing your game plan from success to significance

Bob Buford's Halftime shows how men can make their middle years a time of transformation toward a more satisfying -- and significant -- life.

Opening the Hearts Holiest Chamber
Then he told them many things in parables, saying: A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a cropa hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.
Matthew 13:39
None of us knows when we will die. But any one of us, if we wish, may select our own epitaph. I have chosen mine. It is, I should confess, a somewhat haunting thing to think about your gravestone while you are vitally alive. Yet there it is, a vivid image in my mind and heart, standing as both a glorious inspiration and an epic challenge to me:
It means 100 times. I have taken it for myself from the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. Im an entrepreneur, and I want to be remembered as the seed that was planted in good soil and multiplied a hundred fold. It is how I wish to live. It is how I attempt to express my passions and my core commitments. It is how I envision my own legacy. I want to be a symbol of higher yield, in life and in death.
Saint Augustine said that asking yourself the question of your own legacyWhat do I wish to be remembered for?is the beginning of adulthood. That is what I have done by writing my own epitaph. After all, an epitaph should be something more than a wispy,wishful, self-selected motto. If its honest, it says something about who you are at the essence of your personality and your soul.
The stuff that stirs within the hearts holiest chamber is, I believe, a gift given to us all by our Creator. Its one way of expressing a conviction that human beings are more than animals or machines. It is a confession that we are spiritual beings with a purposeand a destiny. Its a divine reminder that we are miraculously and wonderfully made in the image of God.
You may call my 100X epitaph wishful thinking, and surely that is part of what it is. But when you select an epitaph as an expression of gratitude for your singular talentand as a goal to which you are committed until you rest, at last, beneath the gravestoneyou identify yourself as someone with a purpose and a passion that has been encoded in you for life.
The parable of the sower gets to the center of my dreams and to the kernel of my experiences. It is the driving force behind this book. My passion is to multiply all that God has given me and, in the process, give it back. And I would like to incite you to do the same. I do not want you to be the seed that fell along the path, or that was scattered in rocky places, or that was choked by weeds. Such seed held potential to become fruitful, but circumstances prevented it.
My own circumstances provided a moist and fertile soil in which I could grow. It was a fortunate environment, and that has been a critical factor in my story. My own tale is not that of the self-made man, nor is it a rags-to-riches account or a Horatio Alger fantasy. I was given far more opportunity for growth, personal development, and financial rewards than most Americans.
On the one hand you might say that I have been lucky, for indeed I have been given much with which to work. But if you believe, as I do, that to whom much is given much is also required, you will begin to see how daunting my epitaph is.
What about your epitaph? What have you been given, and what will you do with it the rest of your life?
Recently I have begun looking at my own life through the metaphor of a football game (actually, any sport that divides its action into two halves will do). Up until my thirty-fifth year, I was in the first half. Then, circumstances intervened that sent me into halftime. Now I am playing the second half, and its turning into a great game. Along the way, I have come to the conclusion that the second half of our lives should be the best halfthat it can be, in fact, a personal renaissance.
During the first half of your life, if you are like me, you probably did not have time to think about how you would spend the rest of your life. You probably rushed through college, fell in love, married, embarked on a career, climbed upward, and acquired many things to help make the journey comfortable.
You played a hard-fought first half. You may have even been winning. But sooner or later you begin to wonder if this really is as good as it gets. Somehow, keeping score does not offer the thrill it once did.
You may have taken some vicious hits. A good share of men and women never make it to halftime without pain. Serious pain. Divorce. Too much alcohol. Not enough time for your kids. Guilt. Loneliness. Like many good players, you started the half with good intentions but got blindsided along the way.
Even if your pain was slight, you are smart enough to see that you cannot play the second half as you did the first. For one thing, you do not have the energy you once had. Fresh out of college, you had no problem with the fourteen-hour days and going in to the office on weekends. It was part of your first-half game plan, something almost inevitable if you hoped to succeed. But now you yearn for something more than success.
Then there is the reality of the game itself: The clock is running. What once looked like an eternity ahead of you is now within reach. And while you do not fear the end of the game, you do want to make sure that you finish well, that you leave something behind no one can take away from you. If the first half was a quest for success, the second half is a journey to significance.

Excerpted from the Introduction to

Changing your game plan from success to significance

by Bob Buford

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Old Pueblo Traders fashion outfits

Old Pueblo Traders® began in 1946 as a direct mail retailer of fine Southwestern fashions, moccasins, and Native American crafts and jewelry. As the times changed, so did we - our focus shifted from crafts and jewelry to fashions and shoes, and broadened beyond the Southwest. But however much we may have grown over the years and changed with the times, our philosophy on customer service is just the same as it was in 1946. Our customers' satisfaction is always our first priority. We use superior fabrics, better construction methods, and accurate sizing that runs true. Then we inspect overall quality to make sure our customers get the best product. This gives us the Quality Advantage over our competitors. Our customers count on us for everyday fair value, plus price cuts that make it easy to save.

These are the Spring/Summer 08 outfits that Old Puble Traders® suggest:
(click on the photo to begin shopping)

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Your Brain: Mind and Matter

Develop a Memorable Memory

Our brains sure do have a way of messing with our minds.

One moment, you can be spitting out the names of your entire third-grade class, the batting statistics from the 1974 St. Louis Cardinals, the color dress you wore to the eighth-grade Sadie Hawkins Day dance, or the entire script from your favorite Seinfeld episode. The next minute, you space on the name of your cat.

Call them what you want—senior moments, doomsday to dementia—but the truth is that we all experience these neurological hiccups as we age. And we all wonder exactly what they mean. Some of us write them off to stress, fatigue, or some kind of neurological overload that's caused by the ogre who signs our paychecks, while others worry about whether a moment of forgetfulness means that we have a first-class ticket on the express train to Alzheimer's.

No matter what we may think causes our decline in mental acuity, most people share a pretty big assumption about our gray matter: Either our brains are genetically determined to be Ginsu sharp for the duration, or we're eventually going to live life putting on our underwear last. That is, we believe that our genes, the very first Major Ager, completely control our neurological destiny.

That simply isn't true.

While many diseases and conditions have genetic elements to them, memory conditions have some of the strongest genetic indicators. For example, a PET (positron-emission tomography) scan, which records images of the brain as it functions, reveals evidence of early Alzheimer's when it identifies that the brainis misusing energy. This abnormality is caused by illness of the mitochondria (more details on this Major Ager on page 48), which is genetically determined. But the truth is that even if your genes have decided to give you a life of serious forgetfulness, you do have the ability to control those genes so your mind is strong, your brain functions at full power, and you remember everything from the crucial details of your life to whether or not you turned off the oven—even when your birthday candles reach triple digits. Plus, we have lots of data from twin studies saying that less than 50 percent of memory is inherited, meaning that if you get a head start on the action steps we're going to cover, you can alter how your genes are expressed. In the end, genetics loads the gun, but your lifestyle pulls the trigger.

Clearly, the brain is the most complex organ in your body. In fact, if the brain were simpler, we wouldn't be smart enough to understand it. But we are. Think of your brain as the city's electrical grid. Your brain's nerve cells, or neurons, are constantly firing and receiving messages in much the same way that power plants send signals and homes and businesses receive them. Power may originate from a main source, but the connections then branch out every which way throughout the city. Your brain functions the same way: Messages are sent from one neuron to another across your neurological grid. When those neurons successfully communicate with one another through the sending and receiving of neurological impulses, your brain can file away your memories.

But what happens when a storm, an accident, or a chainsaw-wielding hoodlum knocks out the power lines? You lose connections, so you lose power—maybe to a particular neighborhood or maybe to a large segment of the city, depending on which ones got fried. Same goes for your brain. If something knocks out those neural connections, then small or large parts of your brain can experience a blackout, and you freak because you can't remember that you left the car keys on the back of the toilet.

Certainly, many things can cause malfunctions in your neurological grid. Some are acute and immediate, like a concussion arising from a brain bruise. Others are more chronic, as in the case of a genetic malfunction that can cause your power lines to be rickety so they easily fritz out. These are the ones that we're mainly going to address here.

Your Memory: Don't Fuggedaboudit
Part of our job as doctors is to tell you things straight up, because when we don't tell the truth, people get hurt. No sugarcoating. No BS (that really stands for no bad science). No "Win One for the Gipper" speeches. When it comes to your brain, here's a fact that's harsher than a Buffalo winter: The research shows that, eventually, everyone in America will either get Alzheimer's or care for someone who has it.

In some way or another, we're all going to be affected by serious change-your-life memory problems. But the Gipper side of that statistic is this: Memory disorders aren't as uncontrollable as they seem, and the way to attack potential brain problems is by using your brain to understand them. For starters, here are some things you should know about your noggin:

* We actually experience a mental decline a lot earlier than we realize. Memory loss starts at age sixteen and is relatively common by forty. One way you can see this is through research done on video game players. People start losing their hand-eye coordination and the ability to perform exceptionally well on video games after the age of twenty-five. The fascinating part of this research isn't that you'll rarely beat your kid in Mario Kart: Double Dash; it's that even if your brain knows what to do when presented with an animated hairpin turn at 135 mph, your brain can't fire those messages fast enough to your trigger-happy thumbs. There's a natural slowing of the connection—the power line—between your brain and your body.
* Men and women not only differ when it comes to movie tastes and erogenous zones, but also differ when it comes to mental decline. Men usually lose their ability to solve complex problems as they age, while women often lose their ability to process information quickly. That split shows us a couple of things. One, that there's certainly a strong genetic component to memory loss. And, two, that there are specific actions you should be taking to combat that genetic disposition. While there are some places where you're naturally going to decline because of your sex, there are other areas where you're going to have an advantage. That means your job isn't only to try to rebuild the area that's breaking down but to preserve the areas that excel. But across the board, both genders lose competency in the areas in which they are weak to begin with. So women lose spatial cognition, and men suffer verbal losses. Though it's certainly not true for everyone, it may give you clues as to what areas of your brain to concentrate on as you age—or it may help you play to your strengths. (Those with poor memory recall can use organizational skills to compensate, for example.)
* You don't have to have an elite brain to know that your three-pound organ has more power than a rocket booster. It controls everything from your emotions to your decision making, and it gives you the ability to understand why the baseball in Figure 11.1 on page 220 is pretty darn funny. But when we discuss memory loss, we're essentially focusing on three specific brain functions: sensory information (your ability to determine what information is important), short-term memory loss (quick, what's the title of this chapter?), and long-term memory loss (that's your bank of recipes, trivia, names, and every piece of information you've known, read, and stored during your life).

Whether you've seen it on the news, on TV shows, or within your own family, you know how dementia looks from the outside: People forget faces, names, where they live, and information that seems—to the rest of the world—so easy to remember. The most frequently seen problem: getting lost on a walk home. To really control your own genetic destiny, you need to take a look at what memory loss looks like on the inside. For the record, age-related memory loss is classified in several ways. Conditions such as Alzheimer's, dementia, and mild cognitive impairment are all technically different. For our purposes, we're tackling them all together as age-related memory problems because of the similarities in how they change people's lives.

Your Brain: Mind and Matter
Before we crack some skulls and dive inside the brain, let's quickly look at what memory really is: Essentially, it's the process of learning information, storing it, and then having the ability to recall it when you need it—whether to solve problems, tell stories, or save yourself on the witness stand.

Learning begins with those power connections in your brain: neurons firing messages to one another. Your ability to process information is determined by the junctions between those neurons, called the synapses. The ability of brain cells to speak to one another is strengthened or weakened as you use them. We'll spare you all the biological miracles that take place between your ears, but essentially, the more you use those synapses, the stronger they get and the more they proliferate. That's why you may have strong neural pathways for your family history or weak ones for eighties music trivia. That also gives you a little insight into how you remember things. If something's exciting to you, then you learn it faster—and train those synapses to make strong connections. But if the information seems more boring than the sexual habits of an earthworm, you can still learn and build those connections with repeated use.

Problems arise when synapses lie dormant: The less you use certain connections, the greater chance they have of falling into disrepair (like losing fluency in a foreign language if you don't use it for a long time). Technically, we actually learn by weakening underutilized synapses and repairing and strengthening the synapses we commonly use. So if you cook a lot and enjoy it, you'll eventually know the recipes by heart—and learn them faster because it's enjoyable. You build a large connecting wire, which allows for the faster flow of information. By contrast, lesser-used pathways fall into disrepair, so you lose or disable those connections. If you haven't exercised your 1970s TV trivia synapse in a long time, then you're not going to remember the name of the kid who played Bobby Brady on The Brady Bunch (ten points if you said Mike Lookinland before we did).

To keep your memory functioning at optimal power, you'll need to focus on three aspects of your biology.

Your Brain. Let's peel back your scalp and look through a peephole in your head. From the toupee's-eye view, you can see that your brain has 100 billion nerve cells, and each cell receives one hundred messages per second. Yup. In the time it takes you to read this sentence, your brain cells have been doing more processing than the IRS's computer server.

Your neurons—the cells that transmit information—look like mops with shaggy strings that reach out to one another, while the handles of the mops act like cables that carry the information. These neurons talk with one another with the frequency of eighth-grade girls at a slumber party; a lot of information is exchanged very quickly.

The hippocampus, which is shaped a little like a seahorse and is buried deep inside your brain (see Figure 1.1), is the main driver of memory. (The other two memory-related areas of the brain are the prefrontal cortex, which controls the executive function of your brain, and the cerebellum, which controls balance.) Your hippocampus processes information before it is stored. It works best when you're either emotionally interested in the material or alert when you're learning about it. That's one reason why coffee may aid memory; it seems to increase your alertness the first time you learn something, which increases the chance you'll deposit it in your long-term memory bank.

But for the purposes of aging, we're mostly concerned about what happens to the power lines within your brain. So flip on your hippocampus (or grab a cup of coffee) and remember this: There are protein fragments in your brain that sound like the name of a Star Wars droid—beta-amyloid—and they're responsible for gunking up your power lines like overgrown vegetation or fallen branches. They're likely responsible for causing Alzheimer's. The primary defect in Alzheimer's affects the input and output power lines of the hippocampus. Memory starts to fade. (The other physiological sign of Alzheimer's is the buildup of what are called neurofibrillary tangles. They're insoluble twisted fibers that build up inside neurons, like power lines getting crossed up and sending energy to the wrong location. These tangles influence intelligence.) Now, a downed branch here and there won't do much to disrupt the flow of energy through your entire city, but what happens when a lot of branches or shrubs or trees fall on the same part of the grid? You're out of commission.

In general, genes control how much beta-amyloid you have. Some branches may be knocking out those notes from your course in eighteenth-century Roman history, while others may be causing you to forget to pick up the very thing that you went to the supermarket for in the first place. But your genes don't have complete control. You can alter the amount of gunk you have gooping up and weighing down your power lines by altering the expression of one of your genes: the Apo E gene, to be exact. Apo E protein acts like the power company crew that removes the branches and sap from the power lines after the storm. It sweeps through and removes the beta-amyloid so that your synapses can keep functioning and you don't lose the ability to remember how many career touchdown passes Dan Marino threw (420), or what year Diane Keaton won an Oscar for best actress (1977). Whenever we create new synapses to help our brain improve itself, some of this beta-amyloid remains behind, and the Apo E workers clear the gunk to ensure a clean connection.

One group in the union, however, local Apo E4, sabotages the effort to restore power and even gunks up the power lines further (see Figure 1.2). Research shows that an elevated level of the E4 protein is correlated with a higher incidence of Alzheimer's. Fortunately, there are things you can do to turn down the activity of the E4 gene and allow the rest of the Apo E team to clear your power lines. Eating turmeric, which is found in Indian foods, seems to reduce expression of the E4 gene (India, by the way, has a relatively low incidence of Alzheimer's). Exercise has a similar effect.

Your Blood Supply: While there's a strong genetic component to memory problems, we'd be remiss if we didn't address the arterial component of an aging brain. A lack of healthy blood flow to the brain is one of the other main causes of forgetfulness. Each side of the brain has a separate blood supply that looks like several large trees during winter. Between the twigs at the tips of the major branches are areas of brain that are dependent on blood from each of the surrounding trees. The area farthest from two blood-supply lines is the watershed area where we tend to have ministrokes when the branches of surrounding trees are pruned by atherosclerosis or the tree trunks themselves wither from poor maintenance (see Figure 1.3). Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may help maintain memory by preserving tree architecture, while also reducing inflammation that ages the brain cells directly (more on arterial health in the next chapter).

Your Neurochemicals: Nerve cells communicate with one another via neurotransmitters, chemicals that ferry information from neuron to neuron across the synapses between them. The most common neurotransmitter is called acetylcholine. When levels of this chemical fall, especially in the hippocampus (the part of the brain that controls our memory), we develop cognitive impairment. Many of the treatments for Alzheimer's are aimed at increasing the amount of acetylcholine in the brain.

The other chemical that plays a significant role in memory is called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, or just neurotrophins if you prefer), which works like Miracle-Gro for your brain. During infancy, BDNF helps develop nerves that help us learn, but as we get older, things like inflammation and stress can decrease its levels. Research shows that you can do things to improve your levels of BDNF, such as consuming the spice curcumin (a component of turmeric), restricting calories, doing exercise, being in love, and taking some of a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Not surprisingly, you can decrease BDNF by eating high levels of saturated fats and refined sugars, as well as by not getting enough of the natural antidepressant tryptophan (sure, it's found in turkey, but there's twice as much in spinach) in your diet.

So what's the biological effect of all this? Well, if you have serious memory-related problems, the gray matter in your brain actually shrivels faster than a centenarian sunbather. And the connections that are so important to maintaining memory get blocked and broken and detoured so that your memory function is slowed—or sometimes lost. In the end, that can cause you to lose the power lines that go to the neighborhood of fashion trivia or to the office complex of phone numbers or to the cul-de-sac of your anniversary date.

Luckily, as you'll see, there are several simple ways to restore those power lines, regrow those neural connections, and preserve one of the most powerful things you can pass along to the generations that follow: your memory. And your wisdom.

Excerpted from

You Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty
Copyright © 2007 by Michael F. Roizen, M.D., and Oz Works LLC
Buy this book at Barnes & Noble

via |Biology.it

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Spa gift baskets

White Tea & Ginger Holiday Stress Relief Spa Basket
White Tea & Ginger Holiday Stress Relief Spa Basket

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Vanilla Bean & Shea Spa Relaxation Kit
Vanilla Bean & She Spa Relaxation Kit

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Green Tea Stress Free Spa Set
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Green Tea Relaxation Spa Tower – Two Tier Woven Tower
Green Tea Relaxation Spa Tower – Two Tier Woven Tower

All the luxuries of a day at the spa are included in this tower woven basket! Includes green tea scented body lotion, shower gel, luxury bath salts, wood nail brush with pumice stone, floral bath fizzer, bath poof, terry bath pillow and sun dried apricots.

Lavender Luxury
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Lavish in lavender with this woven button-closure tote. Includes our lavender body lotion, shower gel, bath salts, anti-bacterial hand gel, cooling gel eye mask, terry sponge, and black currant teas.

Carry-All Terry Spa Tote
Carry-All Terry Spa Tote

This white waffle cotton carrying tote with water resistant lining, is filled with all the essentials for a spa day at home or away. Includes refreshing basil and lemon scented body lotion, shower gel, body butter, body scrub and bath crystals. A wooden nail brush with pumice stone, hand held loofah and terry slippers complete the gift.

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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Five ways women can prevent a heart attack

When it comes to scary diseases, breast cancer tops them all for most women. But the reality is that heart disease is a bigger killer.

Now a new study from the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden concludes that if women make just five lifestyle changes, a stunning 92 percent of heart attacks could be avoided.

Five ways women can prevent a heart attack:

1. Eat right.
2. Drink a moderate amount of alcohol daily.
3. Stay physically active.
4. Maintain a healthy weight.
5. Don't smoke.

The study: Reuters Health reports that the study, which was led by Dr. Agneta Akesson, focused on the dietary and lifestyle patterns of 24,444 postmenopausal women, all of whom were enrolled in a clinical trial in 1997 and none of whom had heart disease, diabetes or cancer. The women completed "food frequency" questionnaires, noting how often they ate 96 different foods. They also provided their family history of heart disease, education level, physical activity and body measurements.

From the data, the Swedish researchers identified four major dietary patterns:

* Healthy (vegetables, fruits and legumes)
* Western/Swedish (red meat, processed meat, poultry, rice, pasta, eggs, fried potatoes and fish)
* Alcohol (wine, liquor, beer and some snacks)
* Sweets (sweet baked goods, candy, chocolate, jam and ice cream)

The results: During the six-year follow-up period, 308 women had heart attacks. Two types of dietary patterns were significantly associated with a decreased risk of heart attack: healthy and alcohol.

This led the research team to conclude that women who eat a healthy diet with lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, fish and legumes and drink a moderate amount of alcohol a day, have a 57 percent lower risk of having a first heart attack.

That protection soars to a 92 percent lower risk when women combine that healthy diet and moderate alcohol consumption with physical activity, a healthy weight and no smoking.

The study findings were reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

--From the Editors at Netscape

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via |Biology.it

Friday, May 23, 2008

Best Exercise to Keep Your Heart Healthy

Good news! You don't have to run miles every day to have a healthy heart. A brisk walk around the park or on the treadmill is likely enough exercise to keep your heart strong, according to a study from the Duke University Medical Center.

Specifically, you need to walk at a fast pace for two to three hours each week, which translates to 30 to 45 minutes most days of the week, to significantly cut your risk of cardiovascular disease, reports The Associated Press. This supports earlier research that reached a similar conclusion. "The classic question always is: What's the minimum amount I need to do to enjoy the benefits of it?" lead study author Brian Duscha told AP. "If you just walk 12 miles a week at a brisk pace, it's scientifically proven now that you will get some benefits."

The study: More than 130 middle-aged and overweight sedentary men and women who were at risk for heart disease participated in the study. Each was placed in one of these four groups:

* No exercise.
* Walk briskly for 12 miles a week at moderate intensity.
* Walk briskly or jog slowly 12 miles a week at a vigorous intensity.
* Jog 20 miles a week at a vigorous intensity.

Two measurements of fitness were taken: the time to exhaustion and oxygen consumption. The better shape you're in, the more oxygen you can consume and use.

The results: Participants in all three groups who exercised saw fitness improvements. Walking briskly at either a moderate intensity or vigorous intensity provided similar levels of peak oxygen consumption. (Those who jogged had even higher oxygen consumption, so more exercise is better.)

If you exercise and don't lose weight, don't despair. Duscha says that as we age, we gain about 4 pounds a year if we maintain the same diet and don't exercise. So if you're maintaining your weight year-after-year in middle age, congratulate yourself!

The study findings were published in the journal Chest.
source: Netscape.com

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* 0-12% 1-Touch™ Power Incline® capability can be adjusted instantly with the single touch of a button (By increasing your incline, you burn calories at a faster rate)
* 8 Personal Trainer workouts automatically adjust the speed and incline of the treadmill during your workout
* 2 Heart Rate workouts help you stay in your target workout zone by automatically increasing the speed based on your heart rate
* 2 Learn™ programs that you can customize yourself
* Adjustable DuraSoft™ Cushioning system provides a more comfortable exercise surface while also reducing impact on your joints
* Patented, revolutionary SpaceSaver® Design with AirLight™ Lift Assist Shock allows your treadmill to fold vertically for storage
* PowerPulse™ Heart Rate Monitor accurately monitors your heart rate to ensure you are in the proper training zone with the pulse sensitive sensors that are built right into the handlebars
* Commercial-Grade Drive System features a 2.75 HP commercial motor, precision 2.5" rollers, large 2-ply treadmill belt and a failsafe controller
* Goal Setting Programmability - In addition to the pre-programmed workouts, this treadmill helps you set your own goals. You can choose from goals like steps, pace, calories, time and more

Thursday, May 22, 2008

No. 1 Way to Predict a Heart Attack

Your blood pressure and body mass index in middle age are powerful predictors of your level of risk for heart failure later in life.

The higher the numbers above normal ranges, the greater the risk, according to a study from the Boston University School of Medicine in Massachusetts.

Led by Ramachandran S. Vasan, the team evaluated the medical records of 3,362 men and women who had routine check-ups between 1969 and 1994, looking specifically at their blood pressure, pulse and BMI measurements. (Body mass index, or BMI, is a measure of weight in relation to height.) Of all the participants, 518 developed heart failure.

Vasan concluded that those who had a higher systolic blood pressure reading (that's the top number), higher pulse and higher BMI in mid-life were all at risk for heart failure in later life.

"The prevention of heart failure should begin early in life and should include screening for elevated blood pressure and BMI," Vasan told Reuters Health. "Failure to identify or treat such modifiable risk factors in early and mid-adulthood may result in the loss of opportunities to reduce the incidence of heart failure in later life."

The findings were published in the medical journal Hypertension.

--From the Editors at Netscape

If you want to furher investigate, here's a small list of books that can help you achieve a better knowledge about hypertension and how to prevent it:

by Matthew R. Weir
How low should we go? What drugs should we use? How do we achieve lower blood pressure goals? This "how-to" manual in hypertension presents concise, practical, up-to-date information on the diagnosis and management of hypertension, with emphasis on current drug therapies. Generous use of tables, charts, bulleted information, and figures make this a timely and easily accessible volume.

Included in the text:
•The latest information on the management and drug therapy of hypertension.
•Pharmacology of the latest drugs and antihypertensive therapies.
•Hot topics such as detection, prevention, and reduction are discussed, in addition to specific patients such as pregnant women and the elderly.

Reversing Hypertension: A Vital New Program to Prevent, Treat, and Reduce High Blood Pressure
by Julian M. Whitaker

It Strikes One in four Americans Without Warning... it triples your risk of dying from a heart attack...it increases your risk of stroke sevenfold...it can lead to kidney disease, diabetes, and blindness...and to fight it, you may be taking expensive -- and dangerous -- drugs. Now Dr. Julian Whitaker, a leading champion of nutritional medicine unleashes a new weapon in the war against hypertension. His simple yet dramatically effective plan offers: a comprehensive program of diet, exercise, nutritional supplements, and stress management -- to replace or cut down your dependence on medication. Dr. Whitaker's Quick Start Diet -- to decrease dangerously high blood pressure fast. over 30 easy recipes for delicious, low-fat, healthy eating. custom-tailored exercises, from simple stretching to extensive walking regimens. tips on how to properly balance your salt intake and drink more water -- hypertension's most overlooked remedy. important information on inexpensive mineral supplements, EDTA chelation and EECP therapies, and much more.

The No-Salt, Lowest-Sodium Cookbook: Hundreds of Favorite Recipes Created to Combat Congestive Heart Failure and Dangerous Hypertension
by Donald A. Gazzaniga

Donald Gazzaniga, diagnosed with congestive heart failure, was headed for a heart transplant - the only effective medical treatment.

Urged by his doctor to keep his sodium intake "under 1,500-2000 mg. a day," Don headed for the kitchen and went to work. Aware that cutting out table salt is the barest beginning of a true low-sodium diet, Don devised recipes for delicious low-sodium dishes that added up to less than 500 mg. daily, 70% lower than those in other low-sodium cookbooks. The result? Don's name has been removed from the transplant list and his doctors believe that his diet played a significant role.

The No-Salt, Lowest-Sodium Cookbook contains:

* Hundreds of good tasting, easy-to-make recipes
* An introduction by Dr. Sandra Barbour of the Kaiser Permanente Foundation
* Advice on finding low-sodium prepared foods, eating in restaurants, etc.
* Accurate sodium content of every ingredient and of the total servings
* A twenty-eight-day low-sodium menu planner by Dr. Jeannie Gazzaniga, Ph.D., R.D.

This book is for informational purposes only. Readers are advised to consult a physician before making any major change in diet.

Magnesium Solution for High Blood Pressure: How to Use Magnesium to Help Prevent and Relieve Hypertension Naturally
by Jay S. Cohen
More than 50 million Americans have high blood pressure -- a devastating disease that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Doctors routinely prescribe drugs for this condition, but these medications often cause side effects. As a nationally recognized expert on medications and side effects, Dr. Jay S. Cohen wants to make you aware of a safe, natural solution to high blood pressure -- the mineral magnesium.

Magnesium is essential for the normal functioning of nerves, muscles, blood vessels, bones, and the heart, yet more than 75% of the population is deficient in it. Dr. Cohen has written The Magnesium Solution for High Blood Pressure to provide you and your doctor with all of the information needed to understand why magnesium is essential for helping to prevent and treat high blood pressure. Dr. Cohen explains why magnesium is necessary for normal vascular functioning, how to use magnesium along with hypertension drugs, and the best types of magnesium to use. Most importantly, Dr. Cohen has made the evidence-based research on magnesium's safety and effectiveness highly readable and usable by anyone.

This book offers the facts on this natural alternative for the prevention and treatment of hypertension. Here is valuable information for anyone seeking a natural, safe, non-drug option for high blood pressure.

What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Hypertension: The Revolutionary Nutrition and Lifestyle Program to Help Fight High Blood Pressure
by Mark Houston

A revolutionary, all- natural treatment program for reversing the "silent killer" affecting more than 50 million Americans. Hypertension is a dangerous and deadly disease. There are no symptoms, so most sufferers have no idea anything is wrong—making more than 45 million Americans ticking time bombs. And while there are many drugs on the market that combat this condition, the costs and side effects are often prohibitive. Now, a leading expert and researcher introduces an all-natural solution. His comprehensive treatment regimen controls high blood pressure using the best of traditional and alternative medicine. Readers will learn about Dr. Houston's own successful all-natural formula, which attacks hypertension from many angles. When used in conjunction with dietary approaches—also outlined in the book—and combined with exercise, stress reduction, and medication, this program has resulted in success for 90% of Dr. Houston's patients!

via |Biology.it