More firefighters die from heart disease than anything else and more than 70% of us are obese. Simple lifestyle changes can work wonders because you never know what is around the corner for you.

I Stumbled across this blog about a young man who suffered a severe heart attack that should have left him dead around his 37th birthday. His lifestyle is what saved his life.


Today, we are celebrating my husband’s 38th birthday.  We have more reasons to celebrate his birthday now, not because it fell on the day of the Super Bowl, but because he almost left us shortly before his birthday last year.  My husband, like me, is very cognizant about taking care of himself.  He is an Exercise Physiologist and he married me, a Registered Dietitian.  People have called us the “healthy couple” because of our lifestyles and our chosen careers.  We both care about what we put into our bodies, and we both exercise regularly.

On November 30 of 2013, my husband had a major heart attack, one that caused him to leave us for 90 seconds before his medical team brought him back.  It shocked everyone that knows him, knows us, and knows of our lifestyle which we are passionate about.  His medical team said that he was unfortunately affected by his genes, but that his lifestyle helped save him.  Many people that have major heart attacks at his age don’t live to tell about it.  His cardiologist said that because of his consistency with cardiovascular exercise, his blocked arteries had formed natural “bypasses” that they usually only see in people of more advanced age.  The arteries with blockages were inserted with stents to open them back up.  One year later, they went in to check everything and said there was no plaque build up and that everything looked great.
We are very grateful to have him here with us, and every birthday now is even more of a celebration.  He still exercises at least 5 days a week and watches everything that he puts into his mouth.  He limits saturated fats from fatty meats, butter, high fat dairy, and processed foods.  He eats lean protein from plants or from lean meats like fish, chicken, and turkey.  His diet is full of foods that grow from the earth–lots of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and beans.  He limits added sugars and fat from processed foods and we try to make everything “from scratch” so that we have control over what goes into our food.  Our diet sounds very basic and what you may commonly hear or read about, but it is what we live by.
The key to having a healthy lifestyle is consistency.  If you mess up, don’t let it stop you     from starting again the next day or at the next meal.  When you are tempted to return to unhealthy habits, think of your loved ones.  Taking care of yourself is not just for you to feel better, but to keep you around for those you love.  Consider every healthy habit as an act of love–love for yourself, and love for those who love you.  You only get one body–take care of the one you’ve been given.  You can’t trade it in for a newer model!
This blog should open your eyes about what you put in your body. You never know what could happen but a healthy lifestyle could greatly reduce the chances of this happening to you. Firefighter Furnace has one overall goal. That goal is to reduce the chance of heart disease and obesity within the fire service through functional fitness and nutritional education.
If you are interested in taking your fitness to another level while supporting to a good cause, sign up here and receive a daily workout designed for firefighters. 20% of all subscriptions are donated directly to The Children’s Burn Foundation.
Follow DancinDietition for more great nutrition articles.

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