Valentine’s Day Heart Health

In 2014, frustrated by the inability to convince patients to protect their heart, I learned about the cardiopulmonary exercise (bike) test. Athletes do this test to determine their ability to use oxygen (VO2Max). By focusing on improving their VO2Max, they are able to improve their overall health to achieve the WIN!

VO2Max tells us how well our bodies use oxygen. It helps us “stabilize” not just heart health – but emotional and intellectual health as well. Studies have shown that the higher the VO2Max, the lower the risk of death and disability from ALL causes of illness and death. We’re not just talking about heart disease – we’re talking about cancer, diabetes, HIV, hypertension, addictions, intellectual and emotional health, and more! It got me thinking: Why not offer this simple test to maximize our patients’ heart AND overall health? Since then, we have used the bike test as a tool to help patients protect their hearts….their life engine!

So today, I encourage everyone to take a bike test. It may be the most important moment of your life as you strive to delay or prevent heart disease. In this 21st century, heart disease should not be the #1 cause of death or disability for men and women.

At Healthy Steps, we pay close attention to heart health every second of every minute. Taking care of your heart is the BEST Valentine’s gift you can give! The benefits of this test are far reaching and will improve health – not just for yourself, but for the folks who treasure you and who you love.