Floridays Magazine Health & Wellness

The Benefits of Exercise



 Zachariah P . Zachariah, M.D., serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Fort Lauderdale Heart Institute. Additionally, he is a Voluntary Professor of Medicine, University of Miami  School of Medicine – 1984 – present; Chairman of the Governors Task Force on Obesity Epidemic 2003; Member, Chairman, Florida Board of Medicine 2001 – 2002;  Member, Board of Trustees, Nova Southeastern University, 1993 to present; Member, The Florida Council of 100, 2005 – present;  Member, Florida Board of Governors, 2003 – 2010, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, 2001 among others.

While technological innovation and faster more efficient modes of transportation have made it easier to travel from place to place, we have acquired a more sedentary lifestyle. Lack of exercise is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. It increases the chance of weight gain, diabetes, and high blood pressure (all risk factors). The American Heart Association and other similar organizations attempt to educate us on the benefits of physical activity for all ages in the prevention of disease and promotion of a long healthy life.   

 It is important to understand the benefits of exercise as well as the potential strategies to include it in your daily life. The American Heart Association reports that approximately thirty six percent of all deaths are a result of heart disease, fifty percent  can be attributed to coronary heart disease which comes from blockage of blood vessels which provide oxygen to the heart, resulting in heart attacks. Although uncontrollable factors and genetics are certainly prevalent, exercise and diet serve as excellent ways to keep your heart healthy and are considered controllable. The benefits of physical activity are simply unknown to many people. Exercise strengthens your heart, improves blood circulation, provides more oxygen to your muscles and tissues and provides your body with more energy and better health overall. 

 Aerobic exercise, brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming and other sports, can reduce blood pressure therefore avoiding the necessity of taking blood pressure controlling medications. Cholesterol is also improved by regular exercise, as it increases the “happy” cholesterol (HDL) level, and reduces the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) level.  As you continue to maintain a regimen of near-daily exercise, those who smoke—another important key risk factor for heart disease and stroke—will more likely quit or decrease their habit. Exercise also is beneficial to your heart, builds and strengthens bones, muscles and joints, which is extremely important for women, as they possess the highest risk of developing osteoporosis.  

 Most authorities agree that 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, five days a week is adequate.  However, for people under the age of 30, 60 minutes is recommended. In addition to cardio exercise, you should also include one set of eight to ten strength training exercises (eight - twelve repetitions per exercise) for two days a week for those under 65 and three for those over 65. This includes weight lifting, calisthenics and resistance exercises. Your program should target the upper body, midsection and legs. Strength training includes weight lifting (bicep curls, bench press, etc.), calisthenics (lunges, pull-ups, etc.) and resistance exercises. This program will target the major muscle groups (biceps, shoulders, chest, upper back), midsection (abs, obliques) and legs...    

 Strength training will maintain or increase muscle mass and prevent bone loss, which decreases after the age of 30. Combining these elements will increase your strength and endurance and most importantly your life. Based also on American Heart Association data, sedentary jobs have increased 83% since the ‘50s, and our population has become significantly more obese since the ‘80s. It is apparent that more education is needed to inform people of the importance of incorporating exercise in their lives. Childhood obesity has become an epidemic in the nation and especially in Florida. Better nutrition and increased physical activity is critical to children during their school years, both at school and at home. If the present trend continues, it is unfortunate that the future generation will have a lower life expectancy than their parents. Exercise will provide a healthier lifestyle and a longer life. 

©2019 FloridaysUSA.com

Dr. Zachariah P. Zachariah is honoree at American Heart Association Heart Ball


Dr. Zachariah P. Zachariah honored at American Heart Association 2018 Heart Ball  By Ajay Ghosh – Wayne Koss  Dr. Zachariah P. Zachariah, one of the nation’s leading cardiologists, Medical Director of UHealth Cardiology in Fort Lauderdale was honored by The American Heart Association at their annual Broward Heart Ball, recently at the Ritz Carlton in Fort. Lauderdale.  

Dr. Zachariah, an Indian American cardiologist was honored for his lifelong work as a practicing cardiologist and for his commitment to his community and for being instrumental in impacting many people affected by heart disease both locally and nationally.  “It’s a great honor and it’s humbling to be recognized by the noble organization”, Dr. Zachariah expressed.  

The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization serving for nearly a century. The organization is dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke with a mission to foster appropriate cardiac care in an effort to reduce disability and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke.  Through funding of innovative research and fighting for stronger public health policies--they have  provided critical tools and information to save and improve lives.  

The gala event was attended by hundreds of Broward’s medical personnel, social, and philanthropic influencers in the community raising nearly a million dollars. The American Heart Association’s Heart Ball is a nationwide gala that celebrates the organization’s mission.  “The Broward Heart Ball is a one-night celebration of our year-round efforts. It always inspires me to see a room full of individuals who love this community and care enough to give, so we can continue to build healthier lives in South Florida”, commented Frank Scholl MD.   

Dr. Zachariah has been practicing interventional Cardiology at Holy Cross Hospital since 1976 and as its Director of Cardiovascular services through 2010.  He is considered among the most influential Indian-American Republicans and major GOP fundraisers sharing a longtime friendship with the Bush family. During the tenure of President George H. W. Bush, and his sons, President George W. Bush and two-term former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, he held several influential positions including representing the White House Commission on Asian and Pacific Islanders. Currently Dr. Zachariah serves in the Advisory Board Of the Universal News Network (theunn.com). 

 Dr. Zachariah Zachariah is the Medical Director of UHealth Cardiology of Fort Lauderdale and resides on the Clinical Faculty of the University of Miami board. He also is the President of the Fort Lauderdale Heart Institute of Fort Lauderdale. He had served on the Florida Board of Governors of the State University system from 2003 to 2010 and as its chairman of the Trustee Committee. He has also served on the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health and as a member of the U.S. delegation to the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. He also served as Chairman of the Florida Board of Medicine from 1990-1992, 2000-2001 and 2013-2014. 

   Additionally, serving as a member of the President’s advisory commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders appointed by President George W. Bush in 2001. Dr. Zachariah also serves on the executive committee of the Board of Trustees of Nova Southeastern University, a member of the Council of 100 and as a member of the National Board of ExcelinED in action. He is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiology and specializes in cardiology, cardiac catheterization, and interventional cardiology and has performed more than 30,000 heart catheterizations and interventional procedures in Broward County. He has also co-authored several scientific papers and participated in various clinical trials. He received his medical degree from the Armed Forces Medical College in India and then completed his residency at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey. 

  He also completed a fellowship in interventional cardiology at the Cleveland Clinic Educational Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. Among the awards he has received include the Ellis Island American Legend Award, the Child Advocate of the Year Award, Father of the Year Award, Spirit of Life Award from City of Hope, the Golden Heart Award from the American Heart Association, Freedom Foundation Medal of Honor from the Freedom Foundation at Valley Forge, and Ellis Island Medal of Honor, Sister Innocent Hughes Award for his contribution to health and science by Holy Cross Hospital. In the past, 3 Florida Governors and the Cabinet have declared “Zachariah P. Zachariah Day” in Florida 5 times.