10 Risk Factors for Heart Disease




Have you ever had a heart attack?  Do you know anyone that has?  Chances are that you do. 2,200 Americans die from heart disease every day.  That is absurd and disturbing! February is American Heart Health Month, aimed to raise awareness for the nation’s #1 cause of death.


There are ten heart disease risk factors.  Knowing your risk for heart disease will help you modify your lifestyle and take control of your health.  When we’re done you’ll know what the risk factors are and what you can do take control.  Ready?


Heart Disease Risk Factors

The majority of heart disease risk factors can be controlled, treated or modified.  However, there are three that you cannot control.  Here they are:


  1. Family History – A family history of heart disease would be described as first degree relatives, male (<55 years old) or female (<65 years old) who have had a heart attack or stroke.

  3. Age – Many people wish that they could make themselves younger.  Some people even celebrate their 29th birthday forever!  Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that as the body ages so does the heart, even in the absence of heart disease.  The heart must do more work which becomes more complicated in the presence of heart disease.

  5. Gender – A man’s risk of developing heart disease is greater than pre-menopausal women.  Once women go through menopause the risk is equal. Women are not immune to heart disease.  1 out of every 3 women will have a heart related event.

Here are the seven risk factors that you can change:


  1. High Cholesterol – The technical term is Dyslipidemia. It’s classified as LDL (aka bad) cholesterol greater then 130 and/or HDL (aka good) cholesterol below 40.  For those that need a review on cholesterol!

  3. High Blood Pressure – Also known as Hypertension. It’s classified as greater then 140/99 mm/Hg and must be confirmed on two separate occasions.

  5. Diabetes – The technical term is Impaired Fasting Glucose. It’s classified as higher then 100 mg/dl on two separate occasions.

  7. Physical Activity – Are you sedentary? Are you active in your occupation, in your free time and with structured exercise? If you’re not even close to meeting the minimum recommended guidelines for exercise, put a check mark next to this one too.

  9. Obesity/Overweight - This can be classified with a few different methods.  There’s Body Mass Index (BMI; greater then 30 kg/m), waist girth/circumference (40+ inches for men and 35+ inches for women) or waist to hip ratio (greater then 0.95 for men and 0.86 for women).  With the short comings of BMI, the more accurate methods would be circumference measurements or waist to hip ratio.

  11. Cigarette Smoking – If you currently smoke or have quit within the last 6 months then you would qualify.  Smoking doesn’t do anything good for your arteries.  It’s estimated that 10% of all heart disease deaths are caused by smoking.  Quitting smoking for 15 years returns your risk of heart disease to that of a non smoker.

  13. Unhealthy Diet – Diets high in salt, saturated fats, trans fats, processed foods and sugars and low in fruits and veggies have a negative impact to overall heart health. Sound familiar?  Like the average American’s diet.

What’s the next step?

Now that you’ve had all of the risk factors laid out in front of you, you should make sure you know all of YOUR information.  If you are unaware of your numbers then you need to call the doctor’s office or make an appointment to find out.


High cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, physical activity/sedentary lifestyle and impaired fasting glucose may all be impacted positively by changes in your physical activity.


If you would like to have a health and fitness professional help you figure out your risks and develop a plan to decrease them then click here.


CVD Risk Assess CTA


  1. Whaley, M.H. et al. “ACSM’s Guidelines For Exercise Testing and Prescription.” 7th Ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, pp. 19-28.
  2. “Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors.” Accessed on 6, February 2015.  http://www.world-heart-federation.org/press/fact-sheets/cardiovascular-disease-risk-factors/
  3. “About Heart Disease in Women.” Accessed on 6, February 2015. https://www.goredforwomen.org/home/about-heart-disease-in-women/
  4. Image courtesy of jscreationzs at Freedigitalphotos.net


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Clear and Unbiased Facts about Weight Loss




Healthy Weight Awareness Week 2015 is coming to an end.  Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is a very urgent public health issue.  More then 66% of adults in the United States are classified as overweight or obese.  Body Mass Index (BMI) is commonly used to classify people as overweight or obese.  I understand that the classifications for overweight (25.0-29.9 BMI) and obese (30.0+ BMI) have their limitations but 66% is very high!


I’m not here to tell you that you need to look like you could walk in front of a camera and be the next model for a magazine.  However, being overweight or obese comes with an increased risk of just about every disease and co-morbidity there is.  I’ve presented an alternative idea of what a healthy weight is and according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) healthy improvements in chronic disease risk factors (heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.) with as little as 2-3% reduction in excess body weight.


How do you reduce your body weight by 2-3%?

The recommendations are as follows:


  • 150-250 minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activity provides only modest weight loss.
  • Greater amounts (ie. >250 minutes) provide clinically significant weight loss.


Moderate-intensity physical activity means what?


The simplest way to to check if your at moderate-intensity is to do the “Talk Test”.  While exercising you should be able to talk with mild difficulty.  That means you can complete a full sentence but should not be able to string along more then one sentence at a time.


If your a percentages person, that means 50-75% of your max.  The easiest way to gauge intensity using percentages is to use Age Predicted Max Heart Rate (APMHR).


220 - (your age) * Percent intensity


Anything else?


Energy/diet/nutrition reductions combined with physical activity & exercise will increase weight loss as compared to diet alone.


For weight maintenance after weight loss and to prevent weight gain 150-250 minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activity is associated with prevention of weight gain.


If you want to reduce your risk of chronic disease risk factors, lose 2-3% of your body weight and feel great doing it then sign up for your free phone consultation!


Weight Loss 1



1) “Appropriate Physical Activity Intervention Strategies for Weight Loss and Prevention of Weight Regain for Adults.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.  Vol. 41, No. 2, pages 459-471.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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Brent Hartman Nominated for Bucks County’s Best Personal Trainer


Calling all clients, current and past, family and friend!  Please vote for me, Brent Hartman, as Bucks County’s Best Personal Trainer.


bucks-happening-badge 2015


Every year the online publication Bucks Happening runs an online competition that allows people to vote on who is the best in a number of categories.  I’m proud to announce that myself, Brent Hartman of Body By Brent, has been nominated again for the third year in a row.


In 2011 I started my own personal training business.  I’ve been blessed to be able to have a career in an industry that I’ve always dreamed of.  There is nothing that brings me more happiness then when a client reaches a new goal, personal record and success.


I would be grateful to all of those who will cast their vote for me.  Thank you in advance!




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Could a Simple Exercise Save Your Life? – Experts Say Yes


Now that it’s 2015 many women will be hitting the gym to start the journey of reaching their fitness and health related goals.  How many of you are saying in your head the following:


  • “I don’t want to get big and bulky.”
  • “I just want toned muscles.”
  • “I don’t want to lift ‘heavy’ weights.”

In a previous two part post series by Brent Hartman, he touched on three important reasons females should weight train and helped further expel the myth that when women lift weights they will become “big and bulky” like their male counterparts.  If you would like to catch up on the conversation you can read Part 1 and Part 2.
In this third edition of “Women and Resistance Training“, I would like to add another viewpoint to this discussion – from the viewpoint of rehabilitation.

Women and Resistance Training: Part 3


Having worked in both outpatient and long-term care rehab centers, I have seen firsthand the results of what a lack of weight bearing exercises can do to the female body.


What are you at a higher risk of?


Females, (especially those who are post-menopausal) are at a high risk for developing Osteoporosis – a disease that weakens bones over time as a result of progressive loss of bone density (Think of an osteoporotic bone looking like Swiss cheese versus a healthy bone which looks like American cheese).  This weakening of bones increases the susceptibility of fractures and decrements in posture.

Common injuries include:


  • Stress fractures
  • Compression fractures
  • Hip fractures
  • Wrist fractures


Why should you care about Osteoporosis?


You SHOULD care because fractures in the fifth, sixth, seventh decade and later in life can have a significant negative impact on quality of life.

One understated but hugely important benefit of resistance training for females is an increase in bone mineral density (BMD) and reduced risk for a life-altering fracture.


How does this happen?


When a muscle moves against resistance, particularly in a weight-bearing fashion, it causes stress on the tendon which stresses the bone that tendon is attached to. Bones respond to mechanical loading (resistance) and stress from tendons (muscle contraction) by increasing their calcium content and density or by slowing the rate at which they are being broken down. In other words, your bones get stronger too!


How much is enough?


Ideally, a resistance program should be performed 3-4 times per week for about 30 to upwards of 60 minutes.


What kinds of exercises are best?


Earlier I mentioned “weight-bearing” exercise – this is any type of exercise where your weight is being borne through your extremities, think squatting, lunging, pushing up, lifting overhead, etc. Additionally, working the major muscle groups of the body using a variety of resistances (weights, bands, body weight, etc.) will prove beneficial.


What intensity or what amount of resistance is best?


This is where I’ll refer you to the experts. An exercise physiologist, certified personal trainer or physical therapist can help you best formulate a resistance program that is both appropriate in kinds of exercises and using an optimal amount of resistance to provide increases in strength but without being too burdensome that exercise technique would be compromised.  Especially for those that have been diagnosed with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, meeting with a certified or licensed health/exercise professional will ensure that you’re doing the right program to get the desired results in a safe, effective manner.


Now, all of you ladies have yet another reason to lift weights.  Exercise does not take the place of prescribed treatments, however it is the most cost effective form of osteoporosis prevention, when done safely under medical supervision.  Remember that the most effective exercise program is one that combines resistance training with cardiovascular training.

Osteoporosis CTA

Pescatello, Linda S. ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. 9th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Health, 2014. Print.

“Exercising for Bone Health.” American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. (2008): www.sportsmed.org. Web. 19 Oct. 2014.


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Black Friday Personal Training Sale 2014




Buy any personal training package and receive 1 personal training session of equal value for FREE plus receive a FREE Body By Brent t-shirt. (Coupon Code : BLACKFRIDAY) Add the 1 hour personal training session to the cart and use the code to make it FREE!






Purchase a gift certificate for a friend or family member and receive a gift certificate for yourself!  (Coupon Code: HOLIDAYGIFT)


Purchase one $35.00 Receive one $5.00

Purchase one $60.00 Receive one $10.00

Purchase one $275.00 Receive one $45.00

Purchase one $410.00 Receive one $70.00

Purchase one $465.00 Receive one $100.00


Gift certificates will be available for pickup the week of December 7th.




**Online only.  No limit to package purchase.  Prior purchases do not apply. Cannot be combined with other offers.


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Your Thanksgiving Dinner Game Plan

I would like to share some tips of a friend of mine, Jennifer Lynn-Pullman. Many of you know her as the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist that works clients of B3. This time of year she is especially busy helping people develop a “game plan” for the holidays.  Here are her tips developing your game plan for every phase of Thanksgiving day and dinner!

 Turkey Day Strategizing


Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Another Holiday season is approaching quickly.  For many people trying to lose weight or maintain their weight loss holidays can be really scary.  Why would holiday’s be scary?


Studies have shown that the average person gains 5-10 pounds during the holiday season.  The holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas is about a month.  Add in New Year’s and you are looking at about 5-6 weeks.  This is a very short time in which to gain 5-10 pounds.


When you have worked so hard to lose weight and get in the best shape you can, 5-10 pounds can really set you back.  This Thanksgiving you can survive by following these simple tips.


Maintain your normal routine


  • Do not skip meals – eat breakfast and lunch – don’t try to “save up” calories.  You will end up so hungry that you will definitely over do it and eat more than you need.
  • Do not skip your exercise routine. – holidays are not vacations for exercise.  Exercise is also not an excuse to eat more!


Watch your portions



  • Fill half your plate with vegetables, 1/4 starches, 1/4 protein
  • Say no to seconds


Limit calorie containing beverages



  • Enjoy wine and cocktails in moderation – liquid calories do not fill you up, but they add up.


Be smart about dessert


  • Only eat the dessert you enjoy the most.  If you can not narrow down your choice to just one, have just a taste of the desserts you like.


What’s your game plan?

What tips or techniques do you use during the holidays for healthy eating? Please take the time to share them with us by commenting below!

Have a healthy and fit Thanksgiving!

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Take 2 Minutes to Enter the Free Turkey Giveaway… You’ll be Happy You Did!


You have 21 hours left to win a FREE Thanksgiving turkey from Whole Foods Market in North Wales.


WFM NourishedSimply


This giveaway is open to the readers of Nourished Simply.  Nourished Simply is run Jennifer Lynn-Pullman, friend and business partner of Body By Brent, and provides nutrition services to the central bucks and Doylestown area.


This is the perfect opportunity to get your Thanksgiving turkey, win a turkey to give to someone you know is in need this holiday or freeze it for later use!

Enter the giveaway now and check out the rest of the Nourished Simply blog, recipes and great nutrition tips.

Best of luck to everyone!


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A Surprising Tool To Help You With COPD


 Lung COPD
Have a chronic cough? Difficulty breathing with minimal amounts of exertion? These and other symptoms could be diagnosed by your doctor as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, better known as COPD.  It goes without saying that the diagnosis of COPD is obviously bad news.  The good news is that with the right positive mindset, tools and for a very low budget you can help ease the effects of COPD.  Read on to find out more about COPD, how it effects the body and what you can do to help yourself!


What is COPD?


COPD is a group of diseases that inhibit airway function, greatly impacting quality of life and level of function.  COPD is currently the third leading cause of death in the US (following heart disease and cancer) and costs over $40 billion dollars annually in direct and indirect costs.  The two most common diseases associated with COPD include chronic bronchitis and emphysema.


How does COPD affect lung function?


First let’s look get a basic understanding of how our lungs work. The job of our pulmonary system is to take the oxygen out of the air we breathe in and deliver it to our bodies’ tissues to be used for everyday function and operation. This demand increases as activity level increases. Once our body has used the oxygen, it is removed in the form of carbon dioxide which we exhale. Inside our lungs (which are like balloons that can inflate and deflate) are what looks like upside down trees. It’s in the “tree trunks” and “branches” that we see the effects of COPD.


Chronic Bronchitis is a result of increased mucous production in a main branch of the lungs (in the trees inside the balloons) called the bronchioles. This increase in mucous makes it very difficult for the body to take the oxygen in from the outside environment and disperse it to tissue. People with Chronic Bronchitis have a significant cough and often have mucous expelled in their cough.


Emphysema works further on the tree branches in little air sacs called aveoli. Imagine the aveoli like a bunch of little balloons tied together (ie: buds on a tree), expanding and contracting with each breath. With Emphysema, these balloons lose their ability to contract with exhaling and even some of the inner walls become damaged or destroyed. Someone who has Emphysema can get oxygen into their body but have great difficulty getting the waste products out because of the limited flexibility of the aveoli.  Shortness of breath  is common because they cannot take a deep enough breath. Significant cough is also associated with Emphysema.


What causes COPD?


The main leading causes of COPD are cigarette smoking and environmental pollutants, such as smog, that irritate and inflame pulmonary (lung) tissue and cause responses in the body that over time lead to disease.  There are genetic components that can predispose an individual to having COPD, but are less common.


What can you do about it?


COPD is progressive and its effects are irreversible, so early diagnosis is key for symptom management and slowing the advancement of the disease. Exercise plays a very major role in living with COPD, which we will cover later on.


SO, how does exercise help?


Great question!!


Exercise, particularly for those diagnosed with COPD, helps the body maintain and promote lung function much like we work a muscle to make it stronger.


What types of exercise?


Breathing exercises may be initiated to aid in the delivery of oxygen to the body.


Aquatic exercise has proven effective at promoting level of fitness in those with COPD since the demands can be less on the body than when out of the water. Also, the more humid environment of a pool makes breathing slightly easier than a drier climate such as outdoors on a cold day.


Aerobic activities like walking, cycling, etc.


Resistance training has also proven beneficial for individuals with COPD.


How much exercise is needed?


For those with COPD who are not accustomed to exercise, starting at lighter intensities 2-3 days per week may work best, eventually aiming for 3-5 days of activity for aerobic-type work (ie: walking, aquatic workouts or cycling).


Gradually increase the time or duration you can exercise as tolerated.


Additionally, intermittent exercise may be another alternative to promote exercise tolerance –performing light to moderate to even vigorous intensity exercise for only a few minutes followed by a rest.


There you have it!  You may not be able to get rid of COPD but you certainly can do something about it.  Get started today, move, make it a habit.  We’re here to help!


Disclaimer: As always consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.  


BabyBoom CTA.1


Image courtesy of bplanet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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Body By Brent Personal Training Celebrates 2 Years


I cannot believe that it’s been two years.  Times flies when your helping, coaching and educating clients to successfully reach their goals!  Two years ago Body By Brent opened the doors to our very own personal training studio, B3 Personal Training.  This allowed clients to come to us, expanding upon our current in home personal training services.


photo 1


It had been a dream of mine to one day open and run my own gym and I was able to fulfill that dream.  The process started by transforming a brightly colored space with green/purple doors, purple counter-tops and star-burst carpet with peach (I guess?) colored floors to a personal training gym.  We had our work cut out for us.  Here are a few pictures of the space before it began to take shape as a gym…


photo 3 photo 2


And the completed space!  It was a lot of work and in the end it was all worth it.


photo (22)


We would like to thank everyone, friends, family and clients who have helped make these last two years possible.  As we look towards the future, we invite you to be a part of it!


BabyBoom CTA.1




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If You Had An Opportunity To Start Your Day Off Great Would You Be Interested?


How do you set the tone for your day when you are trying to lose weight and get into the best shape of your life?


What if I told you it could also reduce risk factors such as high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol (hypercholesteremia) and diabetes?


AND on top of reducing risk factors those people lost more weight and more inches off of their waist?


The answer is easy.  Listen in as we discuss what could be so be important!


Current Fitness Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with B3 Fit with Body By Brent on BlogTalkRadio

Find out more about Jennifer Lynn-Pullman, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist of Nourished Simply, and Brent Hartman Certified Personal Trainer of Body By Brent.
BabyBoom CTA.1

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