The Cardiovascular Snowball Method

Scott Braver
8 min readJun 12, 2021
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I plan to take a page straight from Mr. Dave Ramsey himself. He can streamline the financial process and change your family tree to build generational wealth in the form of finances.

I can streamline the process of being healthy to change your family tree while building generational wealth in the form of knowledge, experiences, and quality of life.

His principles are quite simple to follow and provide a significant impact in the financial world.

I don’t see why those same principles can’t be applied to healthcare and maintaining a healthy heart and lifestyle.

He follows Baby Steps to guide individuals to living debt-free and financially savvy with their finances while prioritizing specific short-term goals that spiral into long-term goals and outcomes.

Healthcare can follow the exact same plan- the following is what I propose.

Cardiovascular Snowball Step 1:

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Dave’s method states that the first step to financial freedom is to save $1000 dollars for an emergency fund.

My method in taking the first step of accountability to cardiovascular and overall health is to track what foods you are eating. Be honest. Take a 3–4 day diary of all the foods you eat.

This is to identify the first step in the nutritional process. I would recommend taking a sleep diary for 3–4 days as well. Track how long you sleep, what time you go to bed, and your habits leading up to sleep.

Next track your activity level for 3–4 days. Look at the steps on your phone, track your gym time, how long are you swimming, etc.

This is the first ACTIONABLE step to identify areas of weakness. Like most Americans, we live paycheck to paycheck and don’t have a rainy day fund in case something happens.

In the healthcare realm, we need to identify the issues with our three foundational fundamentals in order to build the snowball correctly.

This is pivotal in being able to move forward correctly. If these aren't correctly identified, we are shorting our optimization and ability to really maximize our efforts with sleep, nutrition, and activity level.

Cardiovascular Snowball Step 2:

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At this point, Dave would suggest paying off all your debt using a debt snowball method. Meaning start with the lowest balance first and work your way up to the largest balance carrying the extra funds from the ones you paid off to keep forward momentum in paying off larger balances.

The same principle can be applied to our healthcare. This is really where we maximize our efforts and make major headway with our health and quality of life.

Since we have identified our areas of weakness with our sleep, activity, and nutrition levels; we need to know what those mean and how we can capitalize on the steam from impacting those foundational pillars.

Sleep.

This is going to be an extremely high-level overview of sleep to keep it basic and not get overwhelmed with anyone step in the process.

Fight for 7–8 hours of sleep every night. Period.

Stop using ALL electronics 1 hour prior to sleep and shoot for no electronics within 1 hour upon awakening.

Don’t eat a high carbohydrate meal 2 hours prior to bed as insulin can and will dictate your sleep cycle for up to 24 hours. Think about it, if you had a large carbohydrate meal prior to bed, your body is going to work hard at digesting all those nutrients and can impact how we sleep. We want our metabolism to slow while we sleep so we can focus on healing and repairing.

Eat.

I don’t want you to eat any foods that have a nutritional label. This is a highly simple process that is extremely effective in us being able to reduce the refined carbohydrates and inflammatory agents that cause weight gain and lead to chronic diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

Bottom line- eat real food. Fresh fruits and veggies, animal proteins, rice, and potatoes. Keep it simple and it will work.

Make sure you eat your body weight in protein in a day. It is an essential fuel for every metabolic process in our body and we need it because we live in a society that thrives and pushes high carbs that leave no nutritional content.

Activity.

Get off your butt and MOVE. I don’t care what form of activity you find joyful- the important thing is that you enjoy it. From weights to cycling- do something that engages you to do more than sit on your butt and stare at your phone.

There is so much nature out there- go out and explore it. People think that they need to go balls to the wall to get any results.

That couldn’t be further from the truth and actually causes burnout and injuries. That is the last thing I want. I am teaching you sustainability- much like Mr. Ramsey does in the financial world.

Cardiovascular Snowball Step 3:

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Dave’s third step includes building 3–6 months of your salary.

In my model, this is where people start to thrive and see the fruits of their labor. Because we want SLOW and STEADY progress, we are creating sustainability with a different lifestyle.

Fad diets can create yo-yo dieting and lead us to feel worse off than before we started. Changing the lifestyle to maximize our efforts is the long-haul game, not the short-term game.

After 1–3 months of changing our activity, sleep, and nutrition- the weight will fall off! We will start building lean muscle mass, blood pressure will reduce, cholesterol will improve, insulin sensitivity will resume, energy will improve, thyroid function will improve, heart rate will lower, body composition will change, libido will improve, and the list goes on.

This is where the snowball really gains momentum. We will have significant positive changes that will allow us to get off prescription medications, stop taking over-the-counter pills, and give us back our quality of life and improve longevity.

Not only that- but it is teaching our children that we can overcome obstacles that were thrown our way. We are building generational wealth during this step by teaching our entire families how to eat, sleep and stay active and healthy.

This is a process, but it is a process that works and will eventually get significant buy-in once your family SEES for themselves the progress you have made.

Nothing can be better, in my mind, than my children knowing how to stay healthy and pass that knowledge along to their families. We have become rich with knowledge and built experiences because we are active, love being active together, and love each other more as a result.

Cardiovascular Snowball Step 4:

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Mr. Ramsey’s protocol states to invest 15–20% of your income into your retirement.

My protocol states to invest more time into fine-tuning your goals and incorporating your family into your lifestyle changes.

The biggest investment is showing your family that you can do something once you put your mind to it. Children are little sponges and absorb so much in their environment.

We need to be better role models for their development and growth. We do that by our actions and words.

Do not give in to ease of access. Stick up for something you feel is right. Don’t give in to peer pressure and grab a drink or go out to eat. These are common faults within our society that easily derails us and our children and families see the aftermath.

Depression, self-loathing, lack of smiles, lack of energy, poor social skills, etc. We need to set the bar high because it has gotten ridiculously low somehow.

You are spending this time investing in your health now so that you don't have to later with unnecessary prescription medications, hospitalizations, and possible sudden death.

How would you feel if you left your family behind because you had a heart attack at age 42 and couldn't see your daughter get marrier? Or your son start a family of his own? All because you wanted to go out to eat every day of your life and didn't want to invest in a healthful approach?

You are slowly killing off your family tree because your sons and daughters are seeing your actions. They think it's normal to grow up eating Oreos, ice cream, chips, and other crap all the time. You cannot sacrifice immediate gratification now for a chance to see them grow up?

I hate to paint a grim picture- but people need to understand the truth and process behind what our actions do.

Our children will then grow up thinking eating that way is normal. I mean, haven't you heard that childhood obesity is the highest its EVER been?

We are slowly killing our family tree and we will not have a legacy.

Let that sit in for a bit. I hope it stings- because it should.

Cardiovascular Snowball Step 5:

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Dave states to save for your child's college fund during this step. I somewhat combined steps 4–5 together regarding investing in yourself and your children at the same time.

This is a snowball process though, remember? So, beyond our immediate family, I am sure friends will start to see your progress- even coworkers.

This is where you can spread the word about what works!

Making sleep a priority and getting 7–8 hours of sleep a night with proper sleep hygiene techniques.

Eating a diet that is full of REAL FOOD.

Staying active! There are many ways to skin a cat. Do what brings you joy and do it with a passion.

Follow those rules and repeat the process anytime you derail. Start from square one and don't look back.

Be strong. Be brave.

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