Celebrity-trainer, fitness guru and health expert Bob Harper suffered an almost-fatal heart attack in the early part of 2017. This incident brought a sea change to Bob’s life. His perspectives about diet, lifestyle and his way of living changed forever. The succeeding sections have more details.
February 12, 2017. This date became an important day in the life of fitness expert Bob Harper’s life. That day Bob had a near-fatal heart attack. The below listed eight (8) interesting facts shed key insights into healthy living; especially on how to live a balanced life.
#1. That day did not come by all of a sudden, and out of nowhere. Biggest Loser trainer had been going through temporary bouts of dizziness for weeks in the run-up to that near-fatal day.
Bob’s profession in a way had a role to play here. Pain and discomforts are common companions of his life. As the spell of dizziness started, he assumed it be an outcome of his work. Result: the thought of consulting a doctor never emerged in his mind. In retrospect, Bob thinks it is one of the dumbest things one can do. Bob’s diet did have foods with plenty of health benefits. It kept him fit and healthy. But, what was lacking was something very basic. His diet lacked balance.
In a spree to cut down on carbohydrates, Bob had kept off from them for long. His weight loss goals demanded lesser intake of carbs. It dawned on Bob only at a much later stage that sustenance of a healthy life is difficult by eliminating carbs from your diet.
#2. Bob suffered what is commonly termed as widow-maker cardiac attack. This condition occurs when the descending artery (on the left side’s anterior position) stands choked. This is one of the key channels to bring blood to your heart. Bob’s condition made his heart deprived of essential oxygen and blood. This made him collapse and gave rise to an almost-fatal event.
Bob was lucky there was a doctor working out near him while he collapsed. CPR was administered without any delay, and 911 dialled promptly. As part of resuscitating him, automated external defibrillator was administered on him for a few times. Doctors who brought Bob to life from the near-fatal event informed that his well-developed physical condition helped his body to handle such shocks and eventually to recover. The doctors who treated also added that a normal person (who does not have Bob’s fitness and physical strength) could not have withstood the rude shock as well as the medical team’s resuscitative efforts made for revival.
#3. Bob had an inherited abnormality of cholesterol. His family history showed his family members had died due to cardiac problems. For instance, Bob’s mother and her father had both died of heart failures. The medical team put 2 stents in Bob’s body and also started a recovery program to retain cardiac health.
During the rehab stage, Bob made a lot of changes to his lifestyle. The first thing to change on its own was the way he worked out. He was not able to do Crossfit and intense exercises anymore. He simply was not able to do such intense training after the cardiac attack. So instead of an intensive workout, what Bob does is exercising at medium level of intensity and for an extended span of time. Rehab period post-heart attack taught him to work out longer to make his heart to get used to it. His heart rate was building up. But, he was advised that it is fine to keep the heart rate up, but only for less than 45 minutes at a stretch.
Bob also started including other formats of working out. He included walking (with his dogs to accompany him) and yoga to his workout regime. Before Feb 2017, Bob had a structured approach to his workouts. His regimen used to be so well laid out. There was a fitness plan for each week and he adhered to it fully. Post-rehab, he has not taken a rigid and regimental view to his workouts. He became open for flexible approaches and relaxed his plan sizeably.
#4. Apart from physical workouts, Bob did a lot of changes to the way he thought. One important thing was training his inner self to stay in the present, think for the present and relish it fully. Not being able to hit the gym during rehab time made him go through a crisis each day. This crisis emerged as he thought himself as a fitness trainer alone. The ability to stay in present helped him think about himself in a very different manner. He soon came to terms with his present, and redefined himself as someone who is not only a fitness trainer but a person even beyond that.
In order to always remember it, he sported a bracelet saying “Be here now”. Such memorabilia and mnemonics – according to Bob – can help condition the mind to pursue lofty goals.
#5. Bob also included Transcendental Meditation (TM) to calm his nerves and mind. TM made him calmly recite a mantra repeatedly and stay rooted to his consciousness. According to Bob, it is TM, his dogs and yoga have all together made him calmer and above all, peaceful. The key takeaway Bob shares is the white noise in each of our heads needs to be muted. If you can even mute it for a few minutes each day, it can do wonders. It is simple, according to Bob. All you need to do is not to think of any person or thing and keep yourself off from all types of distractions – especially your phones.
#6. Bob had never been a regular person when it comes to medical examination. But, after Feb 2017- he has a team of doctors to consult with. Bob is also adhering to a well-planned medication program. His doctors ensured Bob took prescription drugs that can bring down his risks as well as to boost his cardiac health. Bob took statins for reducing his cholesterol level as well as drugs that prevent additional risks of a cardiac arrest for the second time. (It is noteworthy that as per the American Heart Association (AHA) – nearly 19% of people who suffered a cardiac arrest and aged above 44 years may suffer from a second attack in the next 5 years.)
#7. Bob joined a support group called as Survivors have Heart. This group has like-minded survivors of heart attack. The group’s core objective is to advocate the need for people with cardiac risks to consult their doctors and commit to a lifestyle along with treatment to stave off heart attacks. This group gave Bob the rare opportunity to interact with a lot of people who have also survived a heart attack.
#8. What happened to Bob is happening to nearly 730,000 Americans. These many people have a heart attack every year; of them, nearly 70% of them (more than 510,000 Americans) suffer from a heart attack for the first time. It makes it one of the largest killers of people in North America. Almost anyone can be at risk of having a heart ailment. Like Bob, one may think that such a medical condition is never going to occur. In a denial mode, the results can be fatal. Many cardiac arrests result in death of the patient because of the denial of signs associated with this medical condition.
Most common signs of heart disorder are excessive sweating, heavy feeling in your chest, gasping for breath, etc. You may also need to know that symptoms can vary among people. In Bob’s case he was going through temporary spells of dizziness.
So, the next time your loved one or a friend is complaining of a pain in the arm, neck or chest, immediate medical attention needs to be called out. Their condition has to be evaluated quickly to detect if the discomforts arise out a cardiac health related medical condition.