My Life

Excerpt From My Book: Hit The Mats- Control Your Atrial Fibrillation with Yoga!

Yoga is wonderful. It can help reduce anxiety, improve balance and increase flexibility in people who engage in yoga regularly. However, not all yoga methods are appropriate for those of us suffering from Atrial Fibrillation. For example, Bikram yoga (also known as hot yoga) is performed in a very hot and humid room for 60-90 minutes. This style of yoga is definitely not recommended for AFib patients, and even people who are interested in beginning a yoga routine should exercise caution when starting out a Bikram yoga practice.

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However, styles like Iyengar or hatha styles are great starting places for those of us with AFib. These styles focus more on balance and proper body alignment. Breath control is also a large part of these styles, which can help in reducing stress, heart rate and blood pressure. Some yoga practitioners are strong advocates for the correlation between improved mental health and regular yoga practice. These individuals feel that the strong mind body connection that exists during a yoga session can help people feel more confident and in control of their own body and what they are feeling. While more scientific research needs to be done to quantify this, the thought is exciting for those individuals who live with mental health concerns.

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An exciting study was released in March of 2016 by the European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing which might shed some more light on the quality of life connection between gentle yoga practice and AFib. The study combined traditional medications and treatments with yoga practice for participants who suffer from paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. This research invited eighty individuals to be split into two groups for a twelve week program. Group one received yoga lessons as a part of their normal medication or other medical treatments, while the other group did not. Questionnaires were given to the participants before, during and after the study to monitor quality of life questions, measure blood pressure, heart rate and such.

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As you can imagine the group who participated in yoga sessions, in addition to their medication or traditional treatments, were found to have lower overall heart rates, lower blood pressure readings, and scored higher on their perceived quality of life questionnaires than the group who did not participate in the yoga classes.

“It could be that the deep breathing balances the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system, leading to less variation in heart rate. The breathing and movement may have beneficial effects on blood pressure”, researcher Wahlström stated in the report (European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 2016).

Deep breathing exercises, called pranayama, found in yoga classes can be used both in and out of your classes to reduce your heart rate and calm down after an AFib episode. The most simple type of deep breathing is to slowly inhale for a count of 4-6 seconds, then exhale for 4-6 seconds. I try to perform this type of breathing for 2-10 minutes several times throughout the day to lower my heart rate and blood pressure. Plus, this breathing technique is perfect if you are on a difficult phone call or in a stressful meeting.

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Ocean Breath, also known as Ujjayi, is another fantastic breathing exercise from yoga practices. Though, I wouldn’t recommend this one while you are in a meeting or on the phone! Breath in deeply through your nose, then exhale loudly through your mouth- you should sound like the ocean tides as you perform this breathing technique. Repeat this until you feel more relaxed and calm.

Another method is alternate nostril breathing, called nadi shodhanaor. This one requires a few steps, but is worth it to help relax your body and calm a rapid heart rate. Place your right thumb over your right nostril and press your thumb against your nose so you are only breathing through your left nostril. Inhale slowly and exhale slowly through the open left nostril. Now switch sides and repeat. This breathing technique can be performed for as long as you need to, and as often as you like.

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Feel free to ask your doctor or yoga instructor for specific yoga poses for you and your level of AFib, but the pose called Cat-Cow is a great starting place to use as a warm up or when you first get up in the morning. To perform a Cat-Cow, get on all fours and your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. As you inhale lift your head to look at the ceiling and curve your back downwards towards the floor. On the exhale drop your head to look at the ground and arch your back like a scared cat. Really try to pull the belly button up towards your spine as you do this. Then repeat. It’s really that easy! I like to do this slowly for 7-10 times on mornings when I’m feeling extra stiff or if my back is bothering me.

As always, take it slow and ease yourself into a yoga program just like you would with any new physical activity. Know your body’s limits and stay within a safe range until you know what you are capable of and comfortable doing.

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As always, please like and subscribe to this channel to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to YouTube at Fey Fitness.

My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Fey

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FeyFitness

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fey_fitness

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FeyFitness

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My Life

Excerpt from My Book: Exercise Bikes- Ride Your Way to a Better Heart!

Stationary bikes are a great way for people with health problems to ease into an aerobic fitness routine. Whether it be a bad back or a heart condition, people with limited capacities for strenuous physical exertion can benefit from this form of cardio workout.

The reason why the stationary bike is so useful is due to the low-impact nature of the activity. Riding exercises tend to place less strain on the spinal column, and most machines have heart rate monitors so you can track your heart rate whilst working out on them. Using a stationary bike is also less jarring to the body when compared to running or jogging.

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Exercising on a stationary bike also strengthens key muscles groups in the legs to help keep them toned and healthy. This is because of the push and pull motions that your legs engage in while peddling. While pushing the peddle down the quadriceps are engaged and working, and on the pull upwards of the peddle the hamstrings are getting a workout. When riding on a stationary bike be sure that your legs are able to extend to a comfortable length without being hyper-extended. This allows for the best range of motion while riding.

Pro Tip: To maximize the workout to these large thigh muscles, keep both the quadriceps and hamstrings engaged and tight on both the push and the pull. You’ll definitely feel the burn after a while of the muscles being worked more than they are used to. Just remember, start off in short intervals and work your way up to longer times of keeping these muscles engaged. We don’t want you getting hurt!

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Developing control of the abdominal and back muscles is another great way to incorporate large muscle groups into the cardio session. On a regular stationary bike you can lean forward while keeping your core tight and engaged to work both the abdominal and low back muscles. Just be sure to keep your spine as straight as possible while leaning forward to reduce the chance of injury to your back. This is more difficult to do on a recumbent bike, but you can still use this machine while keeping your core engaged to get some benefit from the exercise.

In terms of heart health, a stationary bike is a great method of cardio exercising for working the heart and increasing circulation. These bikes have intensity settings that make them appropriate for people at any level on the physical fitness spectrum, and the built-in heart monitors most machines have these days make tracking your heart rate a breeze. These features allow the machine to the completely customizable to a person with a wide range of health or physical needs. As always, just be sure to talk to your physician before beginning any cardiovascular activity to ensure that it is safe for you and your needs.

Other Low Impact Exercises:

  • Exercise Walking
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi
  • Water Therapy

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As always, please like and subscribe to this channel to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to YouTube at Fey Fitness.

My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Fey

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Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FeyFitness

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My Life

Excerpt From My Book: Get Off That Couch!

Don’t turn into a couch potato by spending all your time sitting.

Most Americans spend a lot of time siting. We sit at work, in the car commuting, and again once we get home. While it may feel good in the moment, all that sitting around actually poses a high risk to both your heart and your body. Scientific studies are now beginning to show a link between the amount of time we spend sitting and a person’s risk of developing heart complications. A recent Scottish study found that adults who sat for more than four hours a day had a dramatic increase in their chances of coming down with some type of heart disease. Some studies are even pointing to a correlation between the amount of time a person sits and their life span!

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Science is also keen to point out that there are a myriad of other factors that can add to a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Lifestyle choices such as poor diet, smoking, or excessive drinking can also influence heart health and lifespan. However, excessive sitting can lead to an increase in inflammation present in the body, disruptions in metabolism, fluctuations in blood sugar levels, and increases in body weight or body fat percentages.

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As a personal trainer, I tell my clients with desk jobs to get up once every 30-60 minutes and take a walk around the office. Go refill your water cup, get those papers off the photo copier, or go say hi to a coworker- whatever it takes to get you up and moving. I also greatly encourage my clients to get a standing desk. As I am writing this passage I am standing at my adjustable desk typing away so I can avoid sitting. Most office supply stores sell them, and if your office doesn’t have the space for one most manufacturers also make standing desk conversion kits so you can place the unit right on top of your normal desk with no losses in usable space or assembly required.

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As always, please like and subscribe to this account to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to YouTube at Fey Fitness.

My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Fey

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Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FeyFitness

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My Life

DIY Fairy Light Vase

Hello and welcome everyone to another Fey Fitness video. As you can see from the video title, today’s video is going to be a little different than our normal Sunday cooking film. My hubby and I were out today shopping for random things we needed for our home when I stumbled upon some fairy lights and a beautiful vase at our local Michael’s.

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Thus began a saga of finding items to fill the vase, and still match the fairy lights. It was a hilarious adventure, and we had so much fun I thought I would share the construction of this project with all of you.

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I do hope you enjoy this video and feel inspired to add whimsical elements like this to your own spaces. Making this for all of you just brought so much joy to my day!

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As always, please like and subscribe to this channel to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to YouTube at Fey Fitness.

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My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Fey

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Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FeyFitness

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fey_fitness

Website: https://www.feyfitness.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FeyFitness

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My Life

Excerpt from my book: Will Herbal Remedies Help?

The answer to this is yes, and no. Everyone’s body reacts differently to herbs, and the quality of herbs that you are buying also plays a role in how well your body is able to absorb these nutrients, so you may have to do some trial and error to see what works best for you.

However, with all that being said, here are the herbs that I’ve found work best for me and my AFib clients:

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Ubiquinol (CoQ10)

Make sure this says “Ubiquinol” on the package or ingredient list. The other form of CoQ10 is Ubiquinone, and the body doesn’t absorb this form as efficiently or with as much benefit as Ubiquinol. Ubiquinol is also more expensive, unfortunately, so this is something to be aware of as well. Ubiquinol is a type of coenzyme that the body uses to produce cellular energy. It is absorbed by bodily tissues that require a lot of energy- like your heart- in order to help them function at optimal levels. Ubiquinol is also a great antioxidant that helps fight those nasty free radicals that might wreak havoc on the cells in our body

Your dosage of Ubiquinol (CoQ10) should be between 100-200 mg a day. I take my 200 mg in two dosages, one when I first wake up, and the other about 10 hours later to spread out the heart health benefits of this herb. Try starting off with just the 100 mg dose and see how your heart feels and performs for a week or two. If you aren’t noticing any effects, try upping the dose to 200 mg.

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L-Glutamine

L-Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body, making up roughly 30%-35% of the amino acid nitrogen found in our blood. The world of medicine knows this substance as an essential amino acid because our bodies use it in such large amounts. You’ll most likely hear about L-Glutamine from your gym buddies, because this amino acid is fantastic for muscle growth and overall athletic performance. However, the benefits of this substance don’t stop there, L-Glutamine is also very useful for promoting digestive, brain and heart health since it is a vital amino acid for building and repairing tissues of the body.

Your dosage of L-Glutamine should be between 2 to 5 grams two times a day, and as much as 10 grams a day for professional athletes. Again, start off with 2 grams and work your way up depending on how your body responds.

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As always, please like and subscribe to this channel to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to YouTube at Fey Fitness.

My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Fey

——————————————————————

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FeyFitness

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fey_fitness

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FeyFitness

My Life

No Video This Week: Fey Has To Travel For Work

Hello and welcome everyone to a quick update on the status of my videos this week. I have to do some last minute traveling for work, so I won’t be able to post a Cooking with Fey or a Fey Fitness video this week.

Many apologies!

But I look forward to chatting with you all again once I return.

Have a great day!

Cheers,

Fey

P.S. Be sure to check out my Instagram account @fey_fitness for a sneak peak into my daily life, or my YouTube channel at Fey Fitness for fun cooking and fitness videos! My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

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My Life

Excerpt from my book: What is Atrial Fibrillation?

Hello everyone and welcome to a post from my new series about the book I am writing! This excerpt is from the section I’m currently working on about describing what Atrial Fibrillation is in terms of a medical condition. To learn more, read on.

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What is Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) or skipped heart beats that can lead to a whole host of terrifying health concerns such as: blood clots, stroke or even heart failure. In the United States alone there are at least 2.7 million people living with this health condition.

Medically speaking, during an atrial fibrillation episode, the upper chambers of the heart beat at an irregular rhythm instead of beating in a normal rhythmic patten to move blood into the lower chambers of the heart. Think of it as electrical misfires.

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How do you know if you have AFib? Some people, myself included, describe the experience as skipped heart beats or a sudden racing heart rate that leaves them gasping for air or feeling like they were having a heart attack. That’s what happened during my first AFib episode. My heart rate reached 190 beats per minute (an average heart rate is around 60-90 beats a minute), then it started randomly skipping beats. The tension in my chest was so unbearable it became difficult to breathe and I honestly thought it was a heart attack.

Happy reading!

Cheers,

Fey

P.S. Be sure to check out my Instagram account @fey_fitness for a sneak peak into my daily life, or my YouTube channel at Fey Fitness for fun cooking and fitness videos! My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!