Love Yourself and Your Heart

| Andrew Rapacz

Choose NOW to make an active lifestyle change and improve your heart health during National Heart Month!

Did you know that your heart beats an average of 2.5 billion times in your lifetime? That’s an average of about 100,000 times a day and 35 million beats in a year. In one day blood travels about 12,000 miles through our bodies which are approximately 4 times coast to coast across the United States. Talk about hard-working and well-traveled! This month, fittingly, is Heart Month and as we wrap up the shortest month of the year it’s a good time to reflect on if we’re taking care of this industrious organ.

In 2019 the American Heart Association reported that nearly 48% of Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease. The CDC reports the following conditions and behaviors affect our risk of heart disease: High Blood Pressure, High Blood Cholesterol, Smoking, Obesity, Diabetes, Physical Inactivity, and Unhealthy Eating Patterns. Watch this short video from the CDC to learn more about Heart Health and how to calculate your heart age!

One of the most important things we can do to keep our hearts happy and healthy is to exercise.  The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of aerobic physical activity per week and two or more days of muscle-strengthening activities, but according to a 2018 (Blackwell & Clarke) study, only 22.9% of Americans reach those thresholds on a weekly basis.  That means almost 80% of us aren’t active enough, leaving our hearts and the rest of our body wanting and needing more.

It can be difficult to start an exercise program and initiate changes for an active healthy heart and life, but don’t fret help is out there!  Working with an exercise professional is a great way to start making the changes for a healthier happier you.  Live Your Life Physical Therapy has a team of knowledgeable professionals including exercise physiologists, personal trainers, and physical therapists that can help assess your needs and get you started on the right track.  Live Your Life professionals will work directly with you in your home, exercise facility, or wherever you are most comfortable; help create appropriate fitness goals, and motivate and guide you through a program to improve your overall heart health and wellness. Contact us today for a free consultation!

Andrew Rapacz,B.S.,EP-C
Personal Trainer

Andrew holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota (2009) and a Master of Organizational Leadership Certificate from St. Catherine University (2016). He is accredited through the American College of Sports Medicine as a Certified Exercise Physiologist (2011).

Andrew has worked in the adaptive fitness world of neurological rehabilitation since 2009. He helped foster program growth and expansion of adaptive fitness opportunities for individuals with Spinal Cord Injury and other neurological diagnoses through Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute’s Activity-Based Locomotor Exercise (ABLE) program, part of Allina Health, establishing Minnesota’s first and only Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation’s NeuroRecovery Network Community Fitness and Wellness Facility. He also works as a contract installer of FES products for Restorative Therapies, Inc. providing installation, education, and training for FES home users throughout the Upper Midwest. 

Additionally, Andrew serves as a Board Member of Get Up Stand Up to Cure Paralysis Foundation ( a nonprofit organization in Minnesota working to unite, educate and support those dealing with Spinal Cord Injuries and to advocate for research and the restoration of function. GUSU’s initiatives include advocating for SCI Research; community involvement through peer group and one-on-one peer mentoring and promoting adaptive fitness.

He enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters living an active and healthy lifestyle, enjoying the outdoors through cycling, running, hiking, and gardening. When he’s not outside Andy enjoys following University of Minnesota athletics, Vikings, Twins, MNUFC, Wild, Timberwolves, and Liverpool FC; listening to music, and reading.


Benjamin, et. Al. (2019). Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics-2019 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation, 139 (10), 56-528.

Blackwell, D.L., Clarke, T.C. (2018). State Variation in Meeting the 2008 Federal Guidelines for Both Aerobic and Muscle-strengthening Activities Through Leisure-time Physical Activity Among Adults Aged 18-64:United States, 2010-2015. National Health Statistics Report, 112. Retrieved from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2018). Heart Disease: It Can Happen at Any Age. Retrieved from

PBS (1997). Amazing Heart Facts. Retrieved from

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