Learn to Generate Bigger “Heart Waves”
And Beat Diseases of Aging

By Al Sears, MD

Are you one of those frustrated into believing that if you could just make yourself exercise more, then you’d be able to finally lose those love handles, eliminate that spare tire, beat your morning arthritis and stiffness or finally get your energy back?

Before you force yourself into blindly doing more, read the important lesson of Dr Irving Dardik. He was the first Chairman of the US Olympic Committee’s Sports Medicine Council. Today I want to tell you about his Gold Medal winning discovery. This technique can actually reverse chronic diseases as diverse as Parkinson’s, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and arthritis.

And, unlike the drudgery of the much touted aerobic regimens, this is fun, your benefits will be fast and it doesn’t take more than just a few minutes a day.

For Natural Activity, Practice Recovery

The story begins with Dr. Dardik’s friend Jack Kelly. Jack was the brother of actress Grace Kelly. He was also an Olympic oarsman and the current president of the US Olympic Committee. He went out for his usual morning run and, shortly after, dropped dead of sudden heart failure.

Dr. Dardik knew that heart attacks often occur after running or jogging – not during the workout. He added that, “People have been running for thousands of years, and they didn’t die like that. It must be something in the way people run now that causes heart failure after exertion.”

He also observed that long-distance runners were prone to infections and chronic diseases, especially heart disease. He compared their exercise practices to the habits of native people and animals.

He said that animals and natives in the wild run in short bursts. Then, they take time for recovery. And, they repeat this cycle of exertion and recovery. He concluded that long-distance runners die of heart attacks because they have not trained their hearts to recover. This is the same conclusion I reported in The Doctor’s Heart Cure.

Your Natural Heart Wave

These observations of cycles lead Dr. Dardik to his fascinating concept of viewing heart exertion and recovery as a wave - the “Heart Wave.” When you begin exercise, your heart rate begins to climb. When you stop, it begins to come back down. Think about that. If you plot these changing rates going up, then down, through time, it does indeed form a wave.

Inside that wave of exertion, you have smaller waves from each heart beat – itself an alternating wave of exertion (systole) and recovery (diastole). Dardik was the first to see these as “waves within waves”. The picture below will help you visualize the concept.

Generate Strong Heart Waves – and Reverse Disease

So why should you care? If you mimic the natural rhythms of your heart, and exercise in intervals of exertion and recovery, you gradually increase your heart rate variability, or HRV. Simply stated, the greater your HRV, the better your overall health. The more limited your HRV, the greater your risk of chronic disease.

In addition to increasing their heart rate variability, non-athletic women in Dr Dardik’s study also gained:

All of these changes were in just 8 weeks. To quote Dardik, “Cyclic exercise really worked in reversing disease.”

Your 10-Minute Plan for Reconnecting to the Rhythms of Life

Of course, if you have a heart problem you should check with your personal physician before doing this or any other exercise. For this exercise, you can choose any activity that will provide exertion for your heart. A treadmill, elliptical machine, bicycle, jump rope, trampoline or alternating sprinting and walking will work well.

To maximize the amplitude of your heart wave, keep your exercise interval brief, 30 seconds is enough. Immediately upon finishing this brief sprint, put emphasis on your recovery. Instead of merely resting, participate in the process by calming your mind and imagining your heart rate slowing down.

To help with this, focus on each exhalation. As you breathe out, use your imagination to bring your heart rate down. In your mind’s eye, see your heart relaxing – slowly and steadily returning to its resting rate. When your heart rate recovers, do another interval.

Here’s a sample program you can do in about 10 minutes.

INT.
Rest
INT.
Rest
INT.
Rest
INT.
Rest
INT.
Rest
30 sec
2 min
40 sec
2 min
40 sec
2 min
30 sec
2 min
20 sec
2 min

Repeat this every couple of days but in the next session slightly increase the intensity. So if you’re on a stationary bike, for example, increase the resistance a little each day so it’s gradually harder to pedal. Now you are incorporating progressivity, a principle that Dr. Dardik neglected.

Progressivity is the first principle of my trademarked exercise program, Progressively Accelerating Cardiopulmonary Exertion (PACE). Any exercise you do will only continue to change your body through time if you incrementally increase something in the program.

By the time you’ve done this for 6 weeks you should be giving the 20-second interval all you’ve got then quickly changing your focus to recovering as fast as you can. This will focus your training on increasing your heart rate variability a most important cardiac capacity.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD


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  1. Lewin, R. Tuning Biorhythms through Cyclic Exercise. Holistic Primary Care. Spring 2006.
  2.  Sears, Al . The Doctor’s Heart Cure Dragon Door Publications, St. Paul, MN, 2004.
  3. Lewin,R. Making Waves: Irving Dardik and his Superwave Pinciple Rodale, 2005.