While maintaining a healthy diet and engaging in weekly sweat sessions at SoulCycle will certainly decrease your chances of suffering a heart attack, it’s important to remember that these behaviors cannot guarantee heart health. One of the leading fitness gurus on television, “The Biggest Loser’s” Bob Harper announced on Monday that he recently suffered a serious heart attack — serving as a chilling reminder that cardiovascular health is also significantly influenced by genetics.
“Bob Harper confirms to NBC News that he had a heart attack two weeks ago yesterday. He is on the mend,” the network news station announced on Monday.
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According to TMZ, Harper was working out at a gym in New York City two weeks ago when he collapsed. A doctor who was working out administered CPR and used paddles to keep him awake. He was transferred to the hospital and claims he woke up two days later. After an eight-day hospitalization he was released, but he has yet to fly back to his home in Los Angeles because he hasn’t been cleared to fly. He is doing a lot better and his exercise regimen has been limited to walking for the time being.
Harper, 51, has been a walking advertisement of health up to this point. According to NBC.com, he exercises six days a week for roughly 90 minutes per day, keeping his workouts varied by choosing between activities like running, indoor cycling, interval training and yoga. As for his diet, he sticks to fruits, vegetables, plant proteins and lots of water, advising people to stay away from processed foods as much as possible.
It would seem quite shocking that Harper, of all people, would suffer a serious heart attack. However, he has offered up his own reason for the health hiccup: genetics. The fitness trainer revealed to the entertainment website that his mother died of a heart attack.
The World Heart Federation backs up Harper’s reasoning that family history plays a big role in heart health: “If a first-degree male relative (e.g., father, brother) has suffered a heart attack before the age of 55, or if a first-degree female relative has suffered one before the age of 65, you are at greater risk of developing heart disease.”
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Even if you are prone to heart disease, there are measures you can take to lower your risk. Quitting smoking, maintaining a Mediterranean diet, exercising, staying lean, keeping stress at a minimum and regulating high blood pressure or cholesterol by taking prescription medications are all doctor-suggested ways to improve the health of your heart.
For more important information about heart attacks, click here.
What Do YOU Think?
Are you shocked that Bob Harper suffered a heart attack? Do you think he will be forced to change his health and fitness regimen as a result? What heart-healthy measures do you engage in?