Heart Health

This one is near and dear to me, as all of you know. As a successful bypass patient, I first want to thank all of you for your support and good tidings. Now for the lecture:

Watch your heart health, ESPECIALLY post-Covid. Ars Technica does a good job of parsing the massive study of Department of Veterans Affair patients demonstrating a large increase in serious heart condition developments in the first year AFTER having Covid:

“Governments and health systems around the world should be prepared to deal with the likely significant contribution of the COVID-19 pandemic to a rise in the burden of cardiovascular diseases,” the authors caution. “Because of the chronic nature of these conditions, they will likely have long-lasting consequences for patients and health systems and also have broad implications on economic productivity and life expectancy.”

I tested Covid positive 12/30/2020. I already had a stent implanted in 9/2006, and had significant blockage discovered last October 2021, those are NOT Covid related, but the additional issues of slightly irregular heartbeat (some days low, some days high) aggravated high blood pressure, and other symptoms fit the profile of this study.

Please keep an eye on this development. If you already have any heart condition, be proactive with your cardiologist - if not - learn and be aware of the symptoms associated with these 20 heart risk factors.


Yes. You had us worried there for awhile. In my family, we have been very careful with Covid due largely to these cardiac issues.


I cannot emphasize this enough though I would say that a family history of heart risk can honestly unexpectedly flare up with any disease, like pneumonia or severe flu, if an individual is already in an at-risk group. I am fairly familiar with the gymgoer demographic, being one myself, so I have seen for decades now the health outcomes resulting from various age and weight profiles. If I could put a particular emphasis on any of the three key exercise areas–flexibility, strength, and endurance–as tied to heart health, I would stress the third a million times over and wrap a golden ticket around it too for good measure.

There are too many people who think that going to the gym and going on the treadmill at two miles per hour for five minutes (not kidding) and then proceeding to lift very heavy weights for an hour at sloth-like speeds still justifies their ritualistic three rounds of Mickey D’s a day mixed with a wide assortment of junk food, soft and energy drinks, alcohol, smoking, and other vices interspersed throughout. Yes, it is good for people to go to the gym and much better than just sofa-surfing day in and day out, but the problem is the gym is more of an afterthought where the perceived added physical activity can sometimes compound the underlying binging and other vice problems.

It honestly does not matter how many pounds someone can lift when their blood pressure and blood sugar levels are hovering around prehypertension and pre-diabetes levels (or worse) that endurance training can really only resolve or relieve. Endurance training can sound scary, but it really isn’t. It doesn’t need to be something complex or super intense either. I am talking about doing each day a good 20-30 minutes at a steady 4-5 mph pace with some light resistance on an elliptical so your heart hits 55%-85% of your maximum rate, which can work wonders in just a month. Sadly, I have seen such gymgoers suddenly fall off the map due to these unneglected health measures reaching critical mass when they should have focused on holistic health for the heart: eating, sleeping, and exercising for endurance. Many do not know this, so I am not judging anyone here but sharing honest advice that I have learned from my own life and seen verified repeatedly in others’: eat, sleep, and live with your heart health in mind taking the long view.

Nowadays, it is extremely easy to track calorie consumption and expenditure from food and physical activity with an Apple Watch or other smartwatch, and a calorie counter app like Lose It! which I highly recommend to anyone looking to correct or improve their health. Find out your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure, or what your body consumes every 24 hours in calories without added exercise), and then adjust your settings in your calorie counter app to add food and physical activity against that baseline. For example, I have found that setting Lose It! to a “Not Active” calorie budget tracks very closely to TDEE, so when I have my Apple Watch connected, the app adds all my daily physical activity from my Apple Watch on top of that baseline TDEE. I never was a particularly fast runner growing up, but in following these tips over the years, as I get back into good training form each spring when I switch from the gym to the trails, I can consistently hit a 45:00-50:00 10K and 6:00 mile-1 in peak form.


Thanks for the warning. Suffered a minor heart attack back in January of 2019 after a brief run up the escalator; slumped on the platform at Tokyo station as the train was pulling into the station, but came around in a matter of seconds. Fast enough to catch the train and continue on my journey😂 Never been more scared in my life.

Catheterization and a series of MR1 and CT scans could not give a decisive diagnosis of what caused it. Since then I’ve been careful with the d*mn heart. Every piece of warning and advice from a trusted source is always a good reminder to keep up my guard.


@Nnthemperor - stay healthy old buddy and keep a close eye on the ticker.