Introduction to the HeartStrong.com Heart Health Program
In this HeartStrong.com video/article, we will introduce to you the Heart Health Program of HeartStrong.com. We will talk about the 4 phases of the program and be sure that you have taken all the right steps to prepare yourself to change your life for the better. We will then discuss some important elements of the program to help build your foundation for success.
Now, before you start this program, you need to be sure that you have done the following things:
- Talk to your doctor about your own health situation to be sure that you are safe to start the HeartStrong.com program. This is important since every person’s health situation is different. If your doctor has questions about the HeartStrong.com program, they can see our page for healthcare providers or contact us directly through the website.
- Write down a list of goals that you would like to achieve as you progress on this journey
- Make a list of things that you will do to help you be more successful
- Take a “before picture”
So let’s get to it! First of all, you will find that the HeartStrong.com Heart Health Program focuses quite heavily on a predominately plant based diet (however some flexibility is given depending on your situation) as there is a large amount of evidence supporting a plant based nutrition approach for those who have heart disease. This can be challenging for some, but getting educated regarding the research that supports a plant based diet for heart health is key as the evidence is now overwhelming supporting this approach. Understanding that not all people can adhere 100% to a plant based diet, options will be given to have small amounts of meat and low-fat dairy only in certain instances, although this is not ideal as you have learned in the Healthy Eating section. HeartStrong.com will show you how to enjoy a different, plant strong style of eating as well as the other benefits that people are not aware of when you follow a plant based diet. The program will help you get organized to eat healthy and do the right amount/type of physical activity while not losing focus of other wellness concepts for heart health.
Each of the 4 phases of the HeartStrong.com program will have specific goals that you need to accomplish before you can graduate to the next phase. Most people will take about 6 weeks per phase making the whole program a total of 6 months. However, some may progress quicker AND some people may take significantly longer. For example, those who enter the program with a body mass index (BMI) above 35 may take as long as 12 weeks to complete phase 1 whereas a healthy person at a normal weight may take as little as 2-4 weeks.
This program was designed to make eating healthy and staying physically active easy, convenient and somewhat flexible since everyone is different in regards to the foods they like to eat and how much time they have to commit to leading a heart healthy life. You are allowed to reward yourself, within reason that is, if you reach certain goals and depending on your situation. This plan needs to be something that you can follow for your WHOLE LIFE, not just a program that you complete, then go back to your unhealthy habits (learn the skill of a healthy lifestyle…Play The Guitar). The program will help keep you motivated to be healthy forever!
The HeartStrong.com program will ask you to make a schedule for your physical activity and in a sense actually write out or organize a healthy eating plan as well. This way you can simply check off the boxes as you accomplish the day’s goals.
As the program progresses, the diet and exercise recommendations will significantly change. Some members may choose not to enter phase 4, which does require a larger time commitment, but will result in an even healthier heart. Many of you will experience a complete transformation in how you feel and look as you go through the program. Blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol can dramatically improve, although each person is different. Most people’s energy level will increase and overall you will finally feel good about your health again!