Endurance training is thought to contribute to improved heart health. However, a recent study suggests that too much training may have the opposite effect. Published online ahead of print in the Journal of Applied Physiology (2011; doi: 10.?1152/?japplphysiol.?01280.?2010), the study had the purpose of determining the cardiac structure and function of veteran endurance athletes. The study subjects included three sets of men: 12 older endurance athletes (aged 50–67), 20 older controls (aged 52–69) and 17 younger endurance athletes (aged 26–40).
Heart patients with a positive outlook regarding their recovery were 30% less likely to die over the next 15 years than patients with less optimistic expectations, regardless of the severity of their symptoms. This new finding was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (2011; doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2011.41). Researchers from Duke University Medical Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, gave 2,818 heart disease patients a coronary angiography to evaluate blood flow in the heart.
Providing further evidence of the impact of emotions on health, researchers found that bereavement from the death of a loved one may cause elevated or irregular heart rates for up to 6 months after the loss, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2010 held in Chicago. These changes can increase risk of heart attack or sudden cardiac death.
Rhythmic music offered by trained music therapists may help stroke patients restore mobility, according to a review published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2010; 7, doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD006 787.pub2). Researchers from Temple University in Philadelphia, the University of Louisville in Kentucky and the Wolfson Neurorehabilitation Centre in London conducted a research review of randomized and quasirandomized controlled trials that compared the effects of music therapy interventions and standard care with those of standard care alone or other therapies.
According to the website MarathonGuide.com, more than 382,000 marathon finishing times were recorded in the United States in 2005. Those who complete marathons are often credited with having high levels of physical prowess. However, recent research claims that regular participation in such events may negatively impact heart health.
Men who want to lower their risk of developing hypertension may want to up their daily intake of whole-grain products, according to a study in the September 2009 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Researchers who followed more than 51,000 men (aged 40–75 in 1986) enrolled
in the ongoing prospective Health Professionals Follow-Up Study found that those with a higher whole-grain intake,
especially total bran, had a lower risk
of becoming hypertensive.
Effective worksite wellness programs can reduce the risk of heart disease and decrease the physical and economic burdens of chronic diseases,
according to a policy statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) published in Circulation (2009; 120, 1725–41). Companies can save anywhere from $3 to $15 for every $1 spent on health and wellness within 12–18 months of implementing a worksite wellness program. Programs can increase worker productivity, reduce absenteeism, lower turnover rates and decrease healthcare costs.
Having trouble convincing your male client to exercise on his own? Inform him that moderate- to high-intensity exercise may help him avoid a stroke. A study published in the November 24 issue of Neurology (2009; 73, 1774–79) found that men who engaged in moderate- to high-intensity exercise had
a 63% lower chance of stroke than those who did not. The 9-year study involved 3,298 men and women (average age, 69 years). Unfortunately,
exercise was not found to protect women from stroke.
Suffering a stroke can often have deleterious results: inhibited quality of life and heightened injury risk due to decreased mobility, to name a couple. But don’t underestimate the ability of a client who has had a stroke.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, ranking above cancer and stroke. Additionally, hypertension, commonly referred to as “high blood pressure,” is the 13th leading cause of death in the U.S. (Kung et al. 2008). It is therefore important for all health and fitness professionals to be informed about the methods available to help support heart health.
Mind-Body Approaches to Stress and Cardiovascular Health