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Gill's Dr. Vince Sorrell enjoys healthy dose of adventure

Dr. Vince Sorrell on a bicycle trip.
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/ by UK HealthCare

Dr. Vince Sorrell is a national expert in cardiovascular imaging at the Gill Heart & Vascular Institute, traveling around the country – and world – presenting his latest research. And Dr. Sorrell often combines his love of research with his love of adventure, planning memorable adventures around conference presentations in order to stay active and fit. 

We recently sat down with Dr. Sorrell about some of his more unforgettable trips – and how his hobbies help keep his own heart healthy. 

Tell us about some of your more memorable adventures. 

I’ve climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, going from tropical rain forest to freezing temperatures at 19,000 feet at the summit. I rode my bike in Alaska from Anchorage to Denali this past summer. I’ve also snorkeled with sharks in the Caribbean, and my most recent trip is the Hebrides Islands of Scotland. I had to wear a thick wetsuit during storms, and, unfortunately, I didn’t see any sharks because of hurricane force winds.

What’s your favorite place to snorkel?

I’ve loved everywhere I’ve been, and I’m constantly on the lookout for new and exciting places. Some places are memorable for all of the fish, like sharks, rays, lion fish, or starfish and sea snakes, while others are more interesting for vegetation like kelp forests or other animals like seals. 

When I go, I like to take a Go Pro camera with all the accessories. I’ve been able to film some pretty fun stuff underwater, like whales, giant sea turtles and sharks. 

Is there one activity you prefer over the others?

I really like to move in all ways. Cycling, running, hiking and long-distance walking are all enjoyable to me. I find swimming hard, but I’m getting better by reading books and watching videos on YouTube. I would say I’m best at running.

How do these activities contribute to a healthy cardiovascular lifestyle?

With increased, regular exercise, I’m healthier both physically and mentally. Physically, I know that during training for one of my adventures or races, I have fewer colds and runny noses, and I think it has a direct impact on my immune system. 

Mentally, we can all feel stressed from deadlines and responsibilities, but with exercise – especially long distance running for me – I can better prioritize and multitask at work. 

From a cardiovascular and physiological perspective, I can watch my average heart rate drop during training from the mid-50s to the upper-40s, and I know I’m increasing my endurance. Exercising for 30 to 60 minutes a day will result in a lower heart rate, but I know that exercising every day also risks injury, so I like to scatter rest days (swimming, indoor cycling, or doing nothing) in every three to four days. 

From a heart health perspective, is there anything you, or anyone else, should think about before pursuing these types of activities?

Exercise is something everyone can do. But in some cases, you should get a physician’s approval before starting. Whatever your heart health, you will likely benefit from exercise. If you develop chest pain, light headedness or even pass out, stop and speak with a doctor. It may be something serious, or it may just be your body’s response to a change in exertion.

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