Your Road to Wellness

Risk of death

Decrease blood pressure and cardiovascular risk by affecting this nerve

Posted by on 6:35 pm Blood Pressure, Cardiovascular Disease, General Health, Health Risk, Risk of death, Stay healthy, Stress | 0 comments

You don’t need any equipment or take any pills to decrease blood pressure and cardiovascular risk.

When a broad range of indicators of vagal function were tested, the researchers of the following study showed that decreased vagal function is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality (Thayer JF, Lane RD, 2007).

The vagus nerve–which is the 10th cranial nerve–is involved in numerous functions and has a big impact on how we feel and function.

How can we affect the vagus nerve?

You can activate the vagus nerve by breathing at a rate of 6 breaths per minute.

Slow and deep breathing with equal duration of inhalation and exhalation for 5 minutes was found to significantly decrease systolic blood pressure (Bhavanani AB, Sanjay Z, 2011).

It does not take much time to see the benefits from implementing this type of breathing, you notice a difference in the way you feel within some few minutes.

This is diaphragmatic breathing where you see your abdomen rising when you breathe in and lowering as you breathe out.

With some practice you will automatically breathe this way most of the the time, which will make you more relaxed.


Bhavanani AB, Sanjay Z, Madanmohan.Immediate effect of sukha pranayama on cardiovascular variables in patients of hypertension.Int J Yoga Therap. 2011;(21):73-6.

Thayer JF, Lane RD.The role of vagal function in the risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality.Biol Psychol. 2007 Feb;74(2):224-42.


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Assess your mortality risk yourself. It’s very easy.

Posted by on 9:45 am Risk of death | 0 comments

In the last article I wrote, I referred to research showing that low aerobic capacity was associated with increased mortality.

To evaluate aerobic capacity the way they did it in those studies, you have to visit a clinic and have a so called stress test done.

This may be both inconvenient and costly, but there is a very easy way to assess your mortality risk yourself.

The only tool you need is a watch.

Maybe this looks too simple, but there is good evidence showing that the method is very reliable.

Multiple studies have examined the relationship between resting heart rate and mortality (Teodorescu C, et al. 2013, Jensen MT, et al. 2012, Cooney MT, et al. 2010).

112,680 participants were included in this particular study, and they were followed for an average of 7.4 years (Woodward M, et al. 2014).

It was found that there was a continuous, increasing association between having a resting heart rate above approximately 65 beats per minute and the risk of both cardiovascular and all cause mortality.

Adjusting for age and systolic blood pressure did not change the results.

Why would the resting heart rate be so important?

It is probably more than one reason for that, but when 6,004 individuals both men and women were evaluated, it was found that the ones with a resting heart rate of more than 80 beats per minute had increased atherosclerosis compared to the individuals with less than 60 beats per minute (Rubin J, et al. 2012).

There is more than one way you can improve your resting heart rate.

I will write about that in the next article.

I think you will be surprised, it’s really interesting.

Cooney MT1, Vartiainen E, Laatikainen T, Juolevi A, Dudina A, Graham IM. Elevated resting heart rate is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease in healthy men and women. Am Heart J. 2010 Apr;159(4):612-619.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2009.12.029.
Jensen MT1, Marott JL, Allin KH, Nordestgaard BG, Jensen GB. Resting heart rate is associated with cardiovascular and all-cause mortality after adjusting for inflammatory markers: the Copenhagen City Heart Study. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2012 Feb;19(1):102-8. doi: 10.1177/1741826710394274. Epub 2011 Apr 27.
Rubin J1, Blaha MJ, Budoff MJ, Rivera JJ, Shaw LJ, Blankstein R, Mallah MA, Carr JJ, Jones DL, Blumenthal RS, Nasir K. The relationship between resting heart rate and incidence and progression of coronary artery calcification: the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Atherosclerosis. 2012 Jan;220(1):194-200. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2011.06.033. Epub 2011 Jun 25.
Teodorescu C1, Reinier K, Uy-Evanado A, Gunson K, Jui J, Chugh SS. Resting heart rate and risk of sudden cardiac death in the general population: influence of left ventricular systolic dysfunction and heart rate-modulating drugs. Heart Rhythm. 2013 Aug;10(8):1153-8. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2013.05.009. Epub 2013 May 13.
Woodward M1, Webster R2, Murakami Y3, Barzi F2, Lam TH4, Fang X5, Suh I6, Batty GD7, Huxley R8, Rodgers A2; from the Asia Pacific Cohort Studies Collaboration. The association between resting heart rate, cardiovascular disease and mortality: evidence from 112,680 men and women in 12 cohorts. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2014 Jun;21(6):719-26. doi: 10.1177/2047487312452501. Epub 2012 Jun 20.

Exercise for Maximum Benefits

Spending Minimum Time

stress picture 3What if you could increase your odds of living longer and also reduce your risk for

serious disease without spending much time and without it interfering with your schedule.

You could even implement it at work, it takes literally a few seconds, a few times a day, to implement.

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What is a reliable way of accessing the risk of death?

Posted by on 8:40 am Risk of death | 0 comments

Not all risk factors associated with an increased risk of dying have been evaluated long term.

New research from Sweden has documented some interesting facts when accounting for traditional risk factors like smoking, high blood cholesterol and high arterial blood pressure (Ladenvall P, et al. 2016).

This study followed men from 50 to 99 years of age with periodic medical examinations and National Cause of Death registers.

At 54 years of age, 656 of these men performed a maximum exercise test with follow ups for four decades.

This is what they found during more than 40 years of follow up.

Independent of traditional risk factors which included smoking, blood pressure and blood cholesterol, low aerobic capacity was associated with increased mortality rates.

Don’t interpret this to mean that this is the only thing that matters, the other things are also important.

The risk of low grade inflammation is also very important, it just has not been evaluated over such a long time period yet.

I believe it’s really important to stay in good shape as we get older, it does not matter if you are a man or a woman.

Don’t make the mistake of not exercising as you get older.

With all the research available now, we know it does not have to take much time.

Ladenvall P1, Persson CU2, Mandalenakis Z3, Wilhelmsen L3, Grimby G2, Svärdsudd K4, Hansson PO3. Low aerobic capacity in middle-aged men associated with increased mortality rates during 45 years of follow-up. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2016 Jul 26. pii: 2047487316655466. [Epub ahead of print]

Exercise for Maximum Benefits

Spending Minimum Time

stress picture 3What if you could increase your odds of living longer and also reduce your risk for

serious disease without spending much time and without it interfering with your schedule.

You could even implement it at work, it takes literally a few seconds, a few times a day, to implement.

Buy Now


Physical ability test rates the likelihood of dying.

Posted by on 8:28 pm Anti-aging, Antioxidents, BMJ Formula, Exercise, Exercise, Risk of death, The Learn to Eat Plan, Vigorous Activity | 0 comments

Happy senior couple.Who knew that even at the age of 53 you can get an idea about your risk of dying without doing extensive laboratory testing. Put another way, it can give you an indication of how likely you are to achieve a long and healthy life.

The reviewed research tested 1355 men and 1411 women at age 53 and followed them for 13 years(Cooper R, et al. 2014). The three tests consisted of grip strength, chair rise speed and standing balance time. The chair rise speed was done by timing how long it took to rise from a sitting position to standing with straight back and legs, and then sit down again 10 complete times as fast as possible.

The results suggested that the participants that were in the lowest one-fifth when it came to performance were almost four times as likely to die during the follow up compared to the ones in the highest one-fifth. The participants that were not able to do any of the tests were more than eight times more likely to die than the best performers.

This shows how important it is to stay in good shape even at middle age. Keep in mind that these tests, even if they were testing physical ability, also reflected on the biochemistry of the body, since balance is affected by receptors and the health of the nervous system. The nervous system is again affected by free radicals related to the food we eat and our lifestyle.





Cooper R1, Strand BH, Hardy R, Patel KV, Kuh D. Physical capability in mid-life and survival over 13 years of follow-up: British birth cohort study. BMJ. 2014 Apr 29;348:g2219. doi: 10.1136/bmj.g2219.

Is reducing your salt intake really that healthy?

Posted by on 10:55 am Cardiovascular Disease, Eating, Exercise, Risk of death, Salt, Supplements, Vigorous Activity | 0 comments

Salt is not bad salt shaker

We don’t need the same amount of salt all the time. Why is that?

When it is hot and we perspire more, or when we exercise and perspire more, we lose more salt which needs to be replaced. On days like that, we need to eat more salt. One of the reasons why runners sometimes get cramps is because of a high salt loss and not enough salt intake to compensate.

The reviewed research is interesting because it looked at salt intake and mortality related to all cause mortality and cardiovascular disease events(Graudal N,et al. 2014). Looking at data from 25 studies it was found that both low salt intake and high salt intake are associated with increased mortality.

This makes sense. Before you cut out all salt, make an assessment of how much you perspire and take into consideration what your blood pressure is.

If your blood pressure is high and your ankles are swollen, obviously you may need to reduce your salt intake. On the other hand if you perspire a lot because you exercise and your blood pressure is normal, you probably don’t need to reduce your salt intake.




Graudal N1, Jürgens G, Baslund B, Alderman MH. Compared With Usual Sodium Intake, Low- and Excessive-Sodium Diets Are Associated With Increased Mortality: A Meta-Analysis. Am J Hypertens. 2014 Mar 20. [Epub ahead of print]

Vitamin D and Early Death

Posted by on 2:04 pm 25 hydroxyvitamin D, Cardiovascular Disease, Health, Risk of death, Sunshine, Vitamin D | 0 comments

New research on the importance of vitamin D is published all the time. The reviewed study was quite large and was conducted in Denmark (Brondum-Jacobsen P, et al. 2012).

The participants were 10,170 men and women, the vitamin D levels were measured, and the follow-up time was 29 years. The researchers investigated the association between vitamin D levels and ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction and early death.

The results documented that the risk of ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction and early death were increasing when vitamin D levels were decreasing.

If you have not had your vitamin D level tested, I suggest that you get some sun and take approximately 2000 IU of vitamin D3 per day.



Brøndum-Jacobsen P, Benn M, Jensen GB, Nordestgaard BG. 25-hydroxyvitamin d levels and risk of ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction, and early death: population-based study and meta-analyses of 18 and 17 studies. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2012 Nov;32(11):2794-802. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.112.248039. Epub 2012 Aug 30.