Oatmeal is Here to Stay
Long before oatmeal was promoted in television and campaigns, doctors knew that the fiber in oatmeal was good for cardiovascular and digestive systems. Now science has caught up with folklore. Research from Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago has shown that eating one large bowl of oatmeal daily can lower overall blood cholesterol readings by 6%.Every bit as important, oatmeal as heart helper can raise one’s HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or “good”) cholesterol level by much as 15%. What’s more, these readings don’t track any additional health benefits that you may accrue by putting such extras as strawberries, bananas or other sweet, fibrous fruits into your bowl of oatmeal.
The Prudent Post-Workout Cooldown
First, congratulate yourself for having started and stuck with an exercise program. Now keep in mind one often ignored caveat, courtesy of exercise physiologists: A proper cooldown period after exertion is not only important, it could be lifesaving. Heart irregularities and heart attacks sometimes occur after exercise, for want of a smooth deceleration of the heart rate.Critical hints: Avoid standing still or sitting down immediately after you’ve exercised heavily that includes post-workout sessions in the sauna or whirlpool. Instead, walk slowly for at least five minutes after a rigorous workout, especially if you are middle aged or older or have known heart problems.
Exercising the Heart-Gradually
Most people realize that the better shape they’re in, the less likely it is they’ll get winded doing everyday things like walking up a flight of stairs. Therefore, exercising is probably the best way to keep yourself breathing freely. But if you find that you still short of breath every time you run up a flight of stairs or go for a brisk walk, you might not be working out effectively.The best way to increase your cardiovascular health is gradually. If you are running a mile a very quickly one day, and taking a leisure stroll the next, you are not going to build endurance. Exercise physiologists (and cardiologists) recommend the following:1. Estimate your target training intensity (target heart rate).2. Subtract your age from 220, then multiply the result by 65% (your lower limit) and 85% (your lower limit).3. Start exercising at the lower limit and gradually work up to your upper limit over a period of several weeks or longer if you still feel exhausted at the lower levels.You should breathe easier after just a few weeks. If you are still gasping for breath, you might have exercised-induced asthma or a more serious condition. Also, before you begin any exercise program, it’s important to be evaluated by a physician.Also see Learning about Homeopathy