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February 28, 2013 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-02-28

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weight and should have
started cardiovascular
Racusin lost some
weight in his 50s under
a weight-control pro-
gram. The pounds
returned, but he stuck
with a daily walk, a
decision that would
serve him well over the
long haul.

Modiin Mit, an Israeli city
outside Jerusalem.
Franklin is very pleased
with Racusin's embrace of
the spirit of the Beaumont
Health Center. Franklin
Type ... choose the
never lets up espousing
best activities that are
exercise's intrinsic value
safe, sustainable and
as well as the benefit of
satisfying for you.
modifying lifestyle.
Duration ... increase
In a 2013 Viewpoint
the length of your
article published in the
workouts gradually in
Journal of the American
Staying Active
your comfort zone.
Medical Association,
Following bypass sur-
Intensity ... alternate
Franklin wrote that physi-
gery, Racusin began
cal activity "can benefit
cardiac rehab-phase 1
and vigorous workouts
every part of the body
at Beaumont Hospital
within your prescribed
and substantially extend
by walking the cardiac
training zone.
lifespan and quality of
recovery floor.
Frequency ... be
life Yet, he continued,
A few months later,
active every day, push-
"most clinicians as well as
he was referred to
ing for progress some
the patients they counsel
the Beaumont Health
days and backing off
woefully underestimate
Center to enter car-
on easy recovery days.
the cardioprotective and
diac rehab-phase 2. He
systemic health benefits
discovered he enjoyed
– Source:
of regular exercise. As a
the moderate to vigor-
One Heart, Two Feet
result, for the vast major-
ous exercise that phase
ity of Americans, the
offered so joined phase
`physical activity prescrip-
3 to maintain his exercise commitment
tion remains under-filled.'
— and his health.
Franklin teaches at both the Oakland
In 2010, a stress test disclosed a
University William Beaumont Hospital
blocked bypass. Angioplasty, a medical
School of Medicine in Oakland County
procedure that mechanically widens nar- and the Wayne State University School
rowed or obstructed arteries, followed;
of Medicine in Detroit. For exercise, he
three stents opened the blockage. Not
follows a progressive treadmill regimen
discouraged, Racusin re-entered cardiac
at least three days a week. He also does
rehab. He's now back in phase 3. Three
calisthenics. When the weather cooper-
times a week, he does 30 minutes of
ates, he briskly walks four miles with his
cardiovascular exercise on an elliptical
wife, Linda, around his neighborhood at
and alternately on a stair climber and an
least two days a week.
inclined treadmill; he also does 30 min-
Franklin maintains that cardioprotec-
utes of resistance training with weights.
tive medications such as aspirin, statins
Working out doesn't just mean part
and beta-blockers are most effective in
of an exercise physiologist-led program.
concert with regular exercise and sub-
Every morning of the week, Racusin
stantive lifestyle changes.
exercises 30 minutes at home with an
"The population subset that stands
elliptical. On non-phase 3 days, he exer-
to gain the most from a regular exer-
cises 2-3 times or, weather permitting,
cise program is the least fit, the least
walks outside. Bad weather means a
active cohort — the bottom 20 per-
walk at the mall.
cent," says Franklin, who co-authored
The Beaumont program recommends
the 2003 book Prevent, Halt & Reverse
that he undergo an exercise stress test
Heart Disease with Joseph C. Piscatella
(Workman Publishing, New York).
every year.
Think heart health from a young age,
Powerful Reward
Franklin says, because heart disease is
His prognosis?
largely dictated by our lifestyle although
"It's good if I continue to control my
genetics do play a role.
weight, take my medications and, of
"New research shows that if you can
course, exercise Racusin says.
get to age 50 without any major coronary
With travel part of his routine,
risk factors," he says, "your likelihood
Racusin says he isn't about to shed the
of ever developing early heart disease is
exercise bug and its lifeline. Daughter
only 5-8 percent, and you can, on aver-
Judith Racusin is an astronomer and
age, expect to live another 40 years — to
astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard
age 90!
Space Center in Washington, D.C. The
"On the other hand, if you have two
Beaumont sessions prep Racusin for
or more risk factors at age 50, the likeli-
walking the hillsides near his daughter
hood of developing early heart disease is
Debra Jelen and her husband, Doniel,
Heartfelt on page 10
who live with their four children in

Craig Fahle



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February 28 • 2013


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