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stage and help avoid health problems
caused by inappropriate exercise.
Your body should always tell you
if there’s something amiss, so it pays
to look out for the danger signals.
Warning signs of heart problems
include: central chest pain (behind
the breast bone), radiating pain
into the arms, profuse sweating
with shortness of breath (sometimes
accompanied by a feeling of fear or
impending doom), pain that extends
from the central chest area to the jaw
and rapid heart rhythms that make
you feel short of breath (especially
if these are continuous). If you ever
feel any of these get checked out
immediately; this could be a life
saver and quick action is the key.
Exercise is only a part of the
equation; another major factor
in healthy living is nutrition. You
will get the best results by eating a
Mediterranean-style diet, high in
antioxidants (usually found in fresh
fruits and vegetables, the deeper
coloured the better). Antioxidants
combat the body’s production of ‘free
radicals’, which act like ‘molecular
outlaws’, reducing immune function
and damaging heart vessels.
As part of this diet, you should
make sure to eat at least three to four
servings of oily fsh (for example, fresh
salmon, tuna or mackerel) every week;
these promote the body’s good fats
and are high in the cardioprotective
Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils. Look at
one of the longest living nations in
the world on the island of Crete, their
population eats the above, garnished
with lots of antioxidant rich extra
virgin olive oil and herbs.
Fruit and vegetables are also
important; these can be blended
together into a drink to help
boost the body’s antioxidants. It’s
something of a cliché, but you are
what you eat. Putting good food into
the body boosts energy reserves and
helps protect against heart disease
and cancer.
No matter how good your diet,
you could probably help your body
further by the use of supplements.
Although these should never be seen
as a replacement for natural foods,
they can be very useful. We know
amino acids such as ‘L Arginine’
are powerful precursors to forming
nitric oxide in the body; this helps
promote smooth linings in the
arteries, aids in lowering blood
pressure and even helps promote
recovery after exercise. Some of
the latest research also suggests
that ‘parent essential oils’ beneft
health tremendously and may
even help lower the risk of
cancer (see ‘Expert Comment’).
Finally, you should write your
own ‘wellness mission statement’.
Tis provides focus, will help to
identify where you need to improve
and gives you a target to aim for.
You do this for your business... why
not do it for your own health?
clearly has a major beneft in terms
of improving your performance;
you don’t just beneft in terms of
increased energy, you will also fnd
that your ability to cope under
pressure is enhanced.
Lifestyle management starts,
inevitably, with exercise. Te frst
thing any manager should do is
build a minimum of three hours
of moderate exercise per week
into his or her schedule. Moderate
exercise means exercising between 70
and 85 per cent of your maximum
age-related target heart rate (see
‘Follow Your Heart’, opposite).
If, however, you’ve been sedentary
for more than 12 months and are on
the wrong side of 40, it’s advisable
to have a full cardiorespiratory
exercise treadmill or cycle ergometer
test before you begin a new exercise
regime. Tese tests should be carried
out either to volitional exhaustion
or symptom-limited end points
(which should be decided by an
appropriately skilled healthcare
professional or physician).
And why should you put yourself
through this? Because up to 80 per
cent of cardiovascular problems
don’t reveal themselves until you
push yourself beyond 80 per cent
of your capacity. Some tragic deaths
(in marathons or on the squash
court, for example) could have
been avoided if the people involved
had undertaken such a test prior
to harming themselves through
exhaustive exercise. In short, these
tests could identify risk at an early
Dr Dorian Dugmore is founder of the
LMA’s Fit To Manage programme,
run in association with Wellness
International at the adidas Wellness
Centre in Stockport, funded by the
Barclays Premier League