Growing numbers of people are turning to alternative approaches to complement or reduce the use of medication for controlling blood pressure. To guide physicians on the variety of complementary therapies, the American Heart Association has issued a scientific statement entitled “Beyond Medications and Diet: Alternative Approaches to Lowering Blood Pressure,” available in the AHA’s journal Hypertension (2013; 61 , 1360–83; doi: 10.1161/HYP.0b013e318293645f).
For older adults, volunteering may be an effective activity that not only helps their communities but also promotes personal health. Carnegie Mellon University researchers in Pittsburgh found that older adults who volunteer at least 200 hours per year in any type of activity decrease their risk of hypertension by as much as 40%.
While keeping a healthy cholesterol profile is important for everyone, middle-aged men with high cholesterol have a greater risk of first-time heart attack than middle-aged women with the same condition, researchers reported.
The scientists observed Norwegian women (23,525) and men (20,725), all younger than 60 at baseline, for 12 years. They looked at cholesterol scores and noted any incidence of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), or heart attack, among the subjects.
It’s often said that good health begins in the gut, an aphorism that is well supported by two studies published in the August 29 issue of Nature (2013; 500, 541-46). In short, individuals with low bacterial richness in their gut have more obesity and inflammation--and weight loss can improve the richness of their bacterial genes.
It’s tempting to think you can get one of your daily fruit servings from a glass of juice, but skip the convenience of drinking it and instead eat the whole fruit, say Harvard School of Public Health (HSHP) researchers.
With Pilates still enjoying widespread popularity, certain doctors are encouraged that this training method may benefit women during breast cancer recovery and survival. Research shows that physical activity helps breast cancer survivors improve quality of life (QOL), mood, fatigue, body image and fitness. A team of medical doctors and surgeons, a psychologist, physical therapists, nurse educators and Pilates instructors from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, conducted a pilot study to evaluate the feasibility of doing Pilates exercises after mastectomy.
For my clients who have arthritis, I make sure I maintain an open line of communication throughout our sessions. I always ask if certain exercises are bothersome or painful, and I make adjustments if necessary. Even though I choose exercises that won’t irritate the joints, I still ask about comfort levels.
Looking on the sunny side of life may help you be both happier and less likely to have a heart attack, according to a recent research review of more than 200 published studies.
“We found that factors such as optimism, life satisfaction, and happiness are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease regardless of such factors as a person’s age, socioeconomic status, smoking status, or body weight,” said lead author Julia Boehm, research fellow in the department of society, human development, and health at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.
How can Pilates help clients make critical transitions in their lives? For this issue, we talked to Pilates instructors and their clients about how Pilates training has helped them through times of change.newsletter_teaser: How can Pilates help clients make critical transitions in their lives? For this issue, we talked to Pilates instructors and their clients about how Pilates training has helped them through times of change.