Cover image for Take a load off your heart : 109 things you can actually do to prevent, halt or reverse heart disease
Take a load off your heart : 109 things you can actually do to prevent, halt or reverse heart disease
Piscatella, Joseph C.
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Publication Information:
New York : Workman Pub., [2003]

Physical Description:
l, 379 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
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RC685.C6 P573 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RC685.C6 P573 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RC685.C6 P573 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
RC685.C6 P573 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Increase the odds of living longer with this bold, broad approach to cardiac health. A medically up-to-the-minute and easy-to-implement program, Take a Load Off Your Heart sets our four key steps to cardiovascular fitness, from assessing risk to managing stress, from improving diet to making a habit of exercise. It demystifies predictive markers such as trigylcerides and Syndrome X, and offers 109 simple, practical lifestyle tips - #22 Breathe deeply, #96 Drink black tea, #3 Increase your HDL level, #54 Walk briskly, #75 Give up dieting - for preventing, stabilizing and, yes, reversing heart disease.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Piscatella (Fat-Proof Your Child), a motivational speaker who had coronary bypass surgery in 1977 at the age of 32, and Franklin (Making Healthy Tomorrows), director of a Cardiac Rehabilitation Laboratory, collaborated on this clearly written guide to preventing heart disease. Like other consumer health books on this subject, the authors recommend, in detail, nutritional strategies that will lower cholesterol, exercises designed to promote cardiovascular health and, of course, an absolute prohibition against smoking. However, what is different about their plan is the emphasis on reducing stress. According to the authors, recent research into cardiac health indicates that chronic stress not only has a direct negative impact on the heart by, for example, promoting arterial inflammation, but can also play an indirect role. Enduring daily stress frequently prevents people from finding the energy and motivation to make healthy lifestyle changes such as eating sensibly and exercising regularly. Piscatella and Franklin recommend many stress-management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, learning to laugh and taking regular vacations that will lead to a more relaxed way of life. Exercise itself has been found to be as effective as tranquilizers in alleviating tension. Included are useful self-assessment tests for those who want to monitor and improve their heart health. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Action Steps to Manage Stress 1. VOLUNTEER. Helping others makes it harder to dwell on your own problems.2. KEEP A JOURNAL. Try to write everyday and make sure to focus on feelings, not just facts. 3. BREATHE DEEPLY. Take a deep breath through your nose with your mouth closed. As you inhale, push out your stomach. Hold the breath for a few seconds, then expel it slowly through your mouth with you lips pursed, as if you were whistling. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes to create a state of calm. 4. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. Build a cushion into your day for the unexpected. Instead of cramming your schedule, fill it to 80%, leaving 20% for traffic jams, family illness and other surprises. 5. TRANQUILIZE WITH EXERCISE. Regular exercise burns up stress hormones and stimulates the production of endorphins and other chemicals linked to energy, mood and attention.6. LAUGH. A good laugh - like a good workout - releases tension, produces a sense of well-being, and creates a different perspective on life and its challenges. Cultivate friends who smile and joke, put playfulness into your relationships, and leave work concerns at the office. 7. MEDITATE. Use this centuries-old technique to clear the mind and anchor it in the present. Assume a comfortable position in a quiet spot, close your eyes, and focus your mind on a word. Any word will do. Take a deep breath and slowly repeat the word in your mind, over and over again. After a while, the mind becomes quiet and a state of deep rest and relaxation is created.8. PRACTICE POSITIVE SELF-TALK. Each of us is continually involved in self-talk, a running internal conversation that interprets events and actions. This conversation influences emotions. If the talk is negative with harmful put-downs, stress is heightened. But if self-talk is positive, it allows us to better manage stress. 9. DEVELOP RESILIENCY. No one can be successful in everything. But don't let failure define you. It isn't the failure that is important; it's how the failure is handled. 10. PRACTICE YOGA. Yoga's stretching, strengthening and meditative exercises encourage a focusing that results in reduced tension and stress.Adapted from chapter 2 of TAKE A LOAD OFF YOUR HEART Excerpted from Take a Load off Your Heart: 109 Things You Can Actually Do to Prevent, Halt and Reverse Heart Disease by Joseph C. Piscatella, Barry Franklin All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Before We Startp. xv
Introductionp. xli
Step 1. Assess Your Riskp. 1
10 Critical Cardiac Markersp. 2
Cholesterol and Other Lipidsp. 7
Coronary Inflammationp. 21
Blood Clottingp. 26
Weightp. 29
Blood Pressurep. 36
Diabetesp. 42
Syndrome Xp. 48
Aerobic Capacityp. 50
Smokingp. 57
Personalityp. 60
Your Cardiac Marker Profilep. 78
Time for Actionp. 86
Watch Your Cholesterol Numbersp. 86
Reduce Your LDL Levelp. 87
Increase Your HDL Levelp. 88
Bring Down Your Triglyceridesp. 89
Manage Your Homocysteine Levelp. 89
Manage Your CRP Levelp. 90
Control Your Fibrinogen Levelp. 91
Keep Your Weight Downp. 91
Monitor Your Blood Pressurep. 93
Deal with Diabetesp. 94
Be Smart About Syndrome Xp. 96
Give Up Smokingp. 97
Cope with Stressp. 98
Step 2. Manage Daily Stressp. 101
Making Sense of Stressp. 102
What Is Stress?p. 103
The Stress of Lifep. 110
A Changing Viewp. 114
How Stress Works Against Your Heartp. 116
The for Actionp. 122
Take Time Out to Relaxp. 123
Reserve Judgmentp. 123
Focus on Concerns, Not Worriesp. 124
Expect the Unexpectedp. 124
Keep a Journalp. 125
Practice Positive Self-Talkp. 125
Clarify Your Goals and Valuesp. 127
Tranquilize with Exercisep. 128
Breathe Deeplyp. 130
Get Enough Sleepp. 132
Develop Resiliencyp. 133
Meditatep. 136
Listen to Your Spiritual Sidep. 137
Visualize Life as You Want Itp. 139
Take Up Tai Chip. 139
Practice PMRp. 140
Release Stress Now!p. 141
Laughp. 141
Practice Yogap. 142
Be Assertivep. 143
Take a Vacationp. 144
Stretchp. 145
Volunteerp. 146
Get a Massagep. 146
Don't Be a Strangerp. 147
Be Realisticp. 147
Get a Petp. 148
Control Your Anger and Hostilityp. 149
Turn Off the TVp. 150
Step 3. Make Exercise a Habitp. 153
The Exercise Advantagep. 154
The Benefits of Exercisep. 155
A Balanced Exercise Programp. 167
It's Never Too Latep. 180
Time for Actionp. 182
Don't Wait till Wednesdayp. 182
Take the Mirror Testp. 184
Just Do It!p. 184
Get an O.K. from Your Doctorp. 185
Start Slow and Steadyp. 185
Have Funp. 186
Work Toward a Goalp. 186
Take Time to Stretchp. 186
Join a Groupp. 187
Make a Contractp. 188
Keep an Exercise Journalp. 189
Don't Be a Fool for Fraudsp. 189
Walk Brisklyp. 190
Take One Step and Then Ten Thousandp. 192
Run When You Could Have Walkedp. 193
Be a Road Warriorp. 195
Banish Negativityp. 196
Drink Upp. 197
Spring for a Lessonp. 198
Make Exercise a Family Affairp. 198
Take a Seatp. 198
Plan a Fitness Vacationp. 200
Lift Those Weights!p. 201
Use Your Groceriesp. 201
Disguise Your Exercisep. 202
Buy Shoes That Fitp. 203
Don't Neglect Your Armsp. 203
Feel the Beatp. 204
Switch Gears to Boost Metabolismp. 205
Visit the Mallp. 206
Mix It Upp. 206
Make Machines Work for Youp. 207
Step 4. Balance Your Dietp. 211
Know What You Eatp. 212
A Dietary Snapshotp. 213
What Does and Doesn't Make a Heart-Healthy Diet?p. 219
Time for Actionp. 242
Give Up Dietingp. 243
Decide to Lose Fat, Not Poundsp. 244
Keep a Food Journalp. 247
Develop a Hydration Planp. 249
Make a Daily Fat Budgetp. 250
Now Keep to Your Budget!p. 253
Get Your Calories Early in the Dayp. 255
Be Cautious About Dietary Cholesterolp. 256
Rough Up Your Dietp. 257
Put More Fish in Your Dietp. 261
Don't Drown Your Fish in Fatp. 262
Become Label-Literatep. 262
Go Leanp. 268
Watch Out for Ground Beefp. 271
Add Soy to Your Dietp. 271
Get an Oil Changep. 273
Be Picky About Poultryp. 276
Don't Pass the Saltp. 278
Make Your Mustache Fat-Freep. 280
Get Your B'sp. 282
Move the Cheesep. 283
Hide the Sugar Bowlp. 285
Drink Black Teap. 287
Get Your Antioxidants from Foodp. 290
Know Your Margarinesp. 292
Have a Drinkp. 293
Rewrite Your Favorite Recipesp. 295
Eat Your Beansp. 296
Easy on the Mayop. 297
Be Smart About Snacksp. 298
Dress Salads Lightlyp. 301
Figure Out Fast Foodp. 303
Don't Go Menu-Madp. 305
Limit Caffeinep. 307
Floss and Brush Your Teethp. 308
Epiloguep. 311
Appendix I Prescriptions, Procedures and Programsp. 313
1. Drug Therapyp. 314
Aspirin Therapyp. 314
Cholesterol-Lowering Drugsp. 317
Hormone Replacement Therapyp. 322
ACE Inhibitorsp. 323
Beta-Blockersp. 325
2. Testing for Coronary Heart Diseasep. 327
Basic Testsp. 327
Intermediate Testsp. 329
Advanced Testingp. 332
Promising New Diagnostic Testsp. 333
3. Revascularization Treatments for Coronary Heart Diseasep. 335
Balloon Angioplastyp. 335
Bypass Surgeryp. 337
Emerging Interventional Techniquesp. 339
4. Cardiac Rehabilitation Programsp. 341
Appendix II Sources and Web Sitesp. 345