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Is Heart Health the One Thing That Will Keep You Alive and Healthy?

Is heart health more important than your brain, your lungs our your liver?  Frankly I prefer to keep all of my body parts working well.

 I'm Gene Millen, the owner of this website with my wife Bernie.

Twenty-one years ago, I stewed and worried in a hospital bed while waiting for a heart surgeon to saw open my chest and transfer a few arteries from my chest and legs to my heart.

As you might suspect, every thing worked out just fine (although my wife was a little concerned), but as I often say, "A heart attack isn't as much fun as you might think", and a six way heart bypass was a good alternative.

"So what's the point?" you may ask.

To achieve what I call living well you need to keep all of your vital organs functioning as well as possible and heart health in my book ranks right near the top.

The problem is we don't have a magic looking glass to view our innards.


I love the way Walter M. Bortz II, M.D.,  Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and author of We Live Too Short and Die Too Long, says it.


"Your health depends very heavily on you doing a lot of little things all the time."


But hey, you ARE already doing lots of little things all the time. So what's this crazy advice I'm giving you about heart health? You need to focus.


Focus is about destination. It's like getting everything ready for an exciting holiday vacation. That's focus.


You need to make sure your vehicle's gas tank is full and ready to go, and have a map or GPS on board so you won't end up missing a cutoff and ending on a winding dead end road.


You pack your suitcase carefully and double check to be sure it has all the essentials needed for the trip. You might even want to book a motel so you will have a roof to sleep under for the night.


It's paying attention to the little things that will make this trip successful.       


So what's this have to do about faulty body parts? If your health could use a little improvement hang on for a minute. However if you like yourself just the way you are reading the rest of this column may be a waste of your time. 


So what went wrong? My lifestyle was loaded with stress. As president of a locally owned bank I loved helping people with their financial needs. What I didn�t love was dealing with three different sets of government regulators and a board room full of bank directors.


That spelled stress with a capital S.


I thought I was doing just fine, and didn�t pay a whole lot of attention to my health.


If I got the desire for heart exercise I would lay down �til it went away. My nutrition motto was "Life is uncertain, eat dessert first." My "healthy heart diet" was loaded with sugar and trans fats (which are two of the key villains leading to a heart attack or stroke).


And I didn't have the foggiest idea about the importance of good nutrition.


Take it from someone who has gone down a few dead end streets. It's a whole lot better to spend some time focusing on where you want to be.


A six way heart bypass isn't a record but it's still something to talk about.



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