In June 2018, a few Schultz Financial Group team members watched a webinar organized by Financial Advisor Magazine, in which Dr. Daniel Carlin, MD discussed heart health. We thought a summary of this webinar might be of interest to our readers in the spirit of SFG’s physical capital:
Your heart health is your key asset for a long and healthy career, retirement, and legacy. Heart disease is the cause of 1 of every 4 deaths in the US, and about 735,000 Americans had a heart attack last year. The average cost of treatment for a heart attack is $38,501, not including the cost of follow-up appointments, tests, and procedures. To help avoid this, it is important to take proactive steps to a healthy heart. Good health is like a good rate of return — the sooner you start investing in your health, the sooner you begin adding years to your life. Your health is the most important asset you possess.
Heart attacks and cardiovascular disease can affect many aspects of daily living. If you have a heart attack or cardiovascular disease, you may be required to get blood work done frequently, visit doctors more often, have complex medical procedures, and your daily activities may be limited, all of which can have high costs. The best way to limit heart health issues and their associated costs is to invest in preventative measures today.
Your heart is a muscle that lives on blood oxygen and glucose. When your body absorbs too much glucose, your body creates “free radicals” that can damage your cells. These free radicals cause cellular aging, which can lead to heart health issues. According to Daniel Carlin, MD, some of the best methods to minimize cellular aging include:
1. Sleep. Getting a full night’s sleep helps the body rest and recover. Most adults require around 7.5 hours of sleep per night. In order to fall asleep faster, try turning off your screens (phone, television, tablet, etc.) one hour before bedtime.
2. Exercise. Your exercise regimen should include both cardiovascular and strengthening routines. Cardiovascular exercise is defined as exercising at 80 percent of your target heart rate for thirty minutes at least three times per week. To calculate your target heart rate, use the formula: (220 – your age) x 0.8. For example, if you are 50, subtract 50 from 220 (=170), and multiply it by 0.8 for a target heart rate of 136. Strengthening exercise should include resistance training, which can be done with light weights.
3. Limit sugars and simple carbohydrates. Our overall health is determined in part by our diets. Maintaining a healthy diet can prevent weight gain while supporting healthy organs.
4. Consume healthy fats. Healthy fats like avocados, almonds, and olive oils provide good nutrients to our bodies.
5. Limit alcohol. Alcohol is okay in moderation. However, consuming large quantities of alcohol can put a lot of added sugars and toxins in the body.
6. Stay social. Being socially integrated is important, especially as we retire. Interacting with friends and family members keeps your brain and heart active, happy, and healthy.
In addition to the preventative steps listed above, it is important that you know your family history. You should take some time to identify family members and their causes of death. It is important to know the medical history of your grandparents, parents, and siblings. Identifying family members who have or have had heart disease, stroke, or dementia can help you and your doctor understand what preventative measures you should be taking. If you don’t have access to your family history, consider having your genome assessed. There are private companies that will assess your DNA for precursors to diseases. Before giving your DNA to any company, you should research the company to understand what they are going to do with your DNA (such as do they have the right to use your DNA for their research).
It is important to set aside money for the cutting-edge treatment you deserve. Understand that insurance may not cover all blood tests — but the blood tests requested by a board-certified cardiologist may just save your life. Two tests recommended by Daniel Carlin, MD are the Cardio IQ Panel and the High Sensitivity CRP.
Overall, it’s vital to develop an action plan to approach your health, and having the right doctors by your side as you navigate preventative measures is important. You must be aggressive in seeking out the truth and surrounding yourself with people who will support you in this endeavor.