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Chronic Diseases

Fitness Predicts Longevity After 70

Most adults over age 70 have multiple risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or diabetes, but experts note that knowing the total number of risk factors is not helpful for predicting future health. By contrast, knowing how fit a person is can be predictive, according to a study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session in March 2019.

Evening Cardio Training and Hypertension

In another clinical trial examining the impact of time of day on training effects, researchers found that cycling at moderate intensity for 45 minutes three times per week in the evening decreased clinical and ambulatory blood pressure in 50 middle-aged sedentary men with hypertension more than either morning training or stretching (the control group).

Walking Benefits Older Adults With Arthritis

People with osteoarthritis who walk briskly as little as 1 hour per week can significantly increase their odds of remaining functionally independent. Northwestern University researchers in Chicago examined more than 4 years of data from more than 1,500 adults—age 49 or older—who had arthritis but no disability. Their activity levels varied. Activity data analysis showed that people who did 1 hour of moderate-to-vigorous activity per week had a higher probability of remaining free from disability than those who exercised less.

Two of a Kind

When Colleen Evans wanted to improve her strength while healing from Lyme disease, her doctor knew exactly who could help her: fellow patient and personal trainer Shona Curley.

Like Colleen, Curley had been diagnosed with Lyme disease and was coping with its symptoms.

Take the Steam Out of Tea Time

Tea is the drink of choice for more than a billion people. Recent decades have borne witness to a raft of research suggesting that sipping the ancient beverage brings certain health perks. But it is best to brew your cuppa and then let it cool.

Breast Cancer Survivors and Group Exercise

Research shows that exercise benefits breast cancer survivors, but many do not stick with programs. What might appeal enough to increase adherence? A pilot study found that group exercise designed specifically for people surviving breast cancer resulted in more improvements to quality of life than similar exercise programming led by personal trainers. The study is available in Oncology Nursing Forum (2019; doi:10.1188/19.0NF.185-97).

Changing Behavior Changes Lives

In North America—and around the world—people are suffering or dying from the ravages of chronic lifestyle diseases that are mostly preventable. It’s troubling to write those words as a flat statement of fact, especially in an era of such astonishing medical advancements paralleled with a daily firehose of new health research that further pressure-washes what we already know.

Short, High-Intensity Weight Training and Diabetes Risk

Preliminary research on high-intensity training benefits may motivate people who prefer short training sessions and are concerned about diabetes risk. University of Glasgow researchers in Scotland found that 15-minute strength training workouts, done three times a week for 6 weeks, dramatically improved insulin sensitivity and boosted muscle size and strength among 10 young, overweight men.

Can Exercise Prevent Depression?

Fifteen minutes of vigorous activity or approximately 1 hour of moderate activity (like walking or gardening)—or a combination of light and vigorous physical activity—may significantly reduce risk of major depression, according to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry (2019; doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2018.4175).

Obesity and Cancer Risks in Young Adults

Recent findings reveal a trend toward increased risk for obesity-related cancers among young American adults. The study, published in The Lancet, found significant increases in six of 12 obesity-related cancers in young adults, with even greater rises in successively younger generations. Compared with people born 1945-1954, for example, those born 1980–1989 had double the risk . . . at the same age.

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