Fall 2008
Important Information About Cardiac and Vascular Health

Heart Beats, Inc. Welcomes You!
FREE Lecture: “The Use of Reiki for Relaxation and Stress Reduction”
With Gretchen May-Fendo, M.Div., RRT, AE-C
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
6:00 p.m.Refreshments and conversation, Café 267,
Bridgeport Hospital, Second Floor
6:30 p.m.Speaker and discussion,
Hollander Auditorium, Fourth Floor

Cardiac Support Group
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
5:30 p.m.Bridgeport Hospital,
duPont Board Room, First Floor
Open to cardiac patients (from any hospital), their loved ones and anyone interested in heart disease. Share your experiences and concerns and learn from others with similar experiences.

The Program for Cardiac Health… and Much More!

Would you like to lower your risk for developing heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and certain types of cancer? (Sure you would!) Guess what? There’s an oldfashioned free treatment that can help you increase your bone density, lose weight, enhance your immune system, reduce the number or the dosage of medications you take, ward off depression and generally slow down the aging process. This treatment will also enhance your sex life and improve your sleep quality. All you need to commit to is 30 to 60 minutes per day on most days of the week. What is this fountain of youth and elixir of love? It’s exercise!

How Much?
According to the American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine, the minimum recommendation for adults is moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day, five days per week, or vigorous exercise for 20 minutes, three days each week.

Breaking News: Bridgeport Hospital
BEST in Connecticut for Heart Attack Survival!
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Exercising Safely
You should get your physician’s approval before beginning a regular exercise program. Exercising too hard when you are not in good physical shape puts you at risk for a heart attack. If, while exercising, you experience any unusual shortness of breath, chest tightness, pain, nausea, dizziness or a general feeling that something is not right, you should contact your doctor immediately or call 911 as these can be symptoms of a heart attack. Make sure to dress for the weather and drink water before, during and after exercise.

The FIT Exercise Prescription
Frequency: You should exercise five to six days a week to meet the minimum recommendations. Any exercise that uses large muscle groups to get your heart beating faster is considered aerobic exercise and will improve your heart and lung function.

Intensity: To improve the strength of your heart, you will need to exercise at a moderate to vigorous intensity. During moderate intensity, you should be able to breathe through your nose, feel a slight sweat, talk but not sing and feel a slight sweat. Vigorous exercise is beneficial but make sure you discuss it with your doctor first, as orthopedic and cardiovascular problems are more likely at this intensity.

Time: You should devote a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes a day to exercise. You can break up your exercise into several 10-minute aerobic bouts and achieve similar cardiac benefits. To lose weight, it is better to keep your intensity low but continuously increase the length of time that you exercise. You should also devote at least 30 minutes twice a week to strength training to help maintain bone density and prevent muscle loss. A warm up and a cool down of five to 10 minutes each should be included in your exercise routine. And finally, after any type of aerobic activity or strength training, you should stretch the major muscle and tendon groups in your upper and lower body. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds. Breathe into the stretch and don’t bounce.

Do I have to worry about my heart rate?
You should monitor your pulse manually or with a heart monitor to be familiar with how you feel when your heart is beating faster during exercise. For those without cardiac disease and not on beta blocker medications, use this formula for aerobic exercise: (220–age) x 0.50 to 0.85.

This will give you your target aerobic heart rate range. For example: If you are 50, your range is 85 to 144 heart beats per minute (85 is a low moderate intensity and 144 is vigorous intensity).

If you have cardiac disease, please talk to your cardiologist before beginning an exercise program. Your cardiologist can recommend a specific target heart rate range or level of exertion for you. Many cardiac medications affect your heart rate and blood pressure in response to exercise. A medically managed exercise program staffed with cardiac nurses and exercise physiologists can help get you started, stabilized and comfortable.

What types of exercises are best?
Variety is best so you don’t run the risk of overusing certain muscle and joints. Mix it up by walking with a friend, taking a dance class or trying yoga. No matter where you start you can always improve your level of physical fitness—and your mind and body will thank you!

Sample exercise week:

Monday:A 30-minute brisk walk followed by 10 minutes of stretching
Tuesday: A 60-minute yoga class
Wednesday: 30 minutes of strength training followed by an exercise DVD at home
Thursday: A dance class learning the Samba
Friday: A 60-minute walk at the beach
Saturday: Picnic and hike in a park with family
Sunday: 30 minutes of resistance band exercises and a 20-minute vigorous bike ride, followed by 10 minutes of stretching

Apple Rhubarb Crisp

Serves 8


  • 2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened sliced rhubarb, thawed if frozen, and drained
  • 2 medium cooking apples, cored, peeled and sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  • 2/3 cup uncooked regular or quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons light tub margarine

In a large bowl, stir together the filling ingredients to mix well. Let stand for 1 hour. Spoon into an ungreased 8-inch square baking pan or 1-quart casserole dish.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the topping ingredients except the margarine.

Using a pastry blender, cut the margarine into the topping until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping over the apple-rhubarb mixture.

Bake uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes or until the topping is light brown. Let cool for about 20 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Analysis (per serving): 173 calories, 2.5 g total fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 44 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein.

This recipe is reprinted with permission from the American Heart Association Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook, Third Edition, Copyright© 2004 by the American Heart Association.