Get a move on
The invalid heart marches, the healthy one dances
A long time ago, Homo sapiens would run through the savannah and alternate between starving and devouring huge portions of meat. Through the millennia our genes were optimized to handle those ups and downs. We have no idea what he eventually died from, but Homo sapiens was certainly not felled by a heart attack or stroke. That’s all quite different in the information age. While our genetic information has remained virtually unchanged, our contemporary lifestyle has little in common with that of the hunters and gatherers of our past. Transposed into the present day, their lives would be marked by daily exercise, healthy nutrition and regular fasting to stimulate metabolism. It’s a lifestyle that, according to the latest scientifi findings, can help prevent eight out of ten heart attacks. But obviously there is a problem with implementation — usually, one begins to think about making such lifestyle changes only after the occurrence of the mentioned illnesses. But more often, not even illness sparks change, says physician Dr Jan Stritzke.
Prevention instead of worrying
The heart is an incredibly fascinating organ. It is able to adapt to a person’s needs for an entire lifetime.
Where are the risks?
“When someone gains weight it pumps more and becomes larger; with high blood pressure the heart’s walls grow thicker”. The increase in the thickness of the walls is simultaneously a significant sign of the ageing process of the heart, a process greatly accelerated by such risk factors as high blood pressure and obesity. Whether or not this process can be reversed is quite a heated argument amongst scientists. “But basically I think what’s gone is gone”, continues Stritzke.
It is therefore all the more worth our time looking into the risk factors. There are constants such as age, family medical history and gender. Whereas men are already at greater risk between the ages of 40 and 50, women are not at greater risk until ten years later. On the other hand, there are risk factors we can actually influence such as stress, obesity, physical fitness, diabetes type 2, cholesterol, blood pressure and nicotine. “It is ultimately up to the individual to whom the heart belongs. For this reason the holistic approach is of great importance”.
The greatest danger is failing to exercise
Time-out for heart and soul
This, by the way, is a basic principle that Jan Stritzke himself has internalised. “I live at the North Sea, where I can tank up on energy while cycling or jogging by the shore”.
This text is a summary of the lecture “Adam and Eve” given by Dr Jan Stritzke at a strateg y workshop for executives employed at Bründel in Kals am Grossglockner, Austria.