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Cardiovascular Disease

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Body Fat and Heart Disease

Strength Training Reduces Heart Fat

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | May 1, 2020 |

Location matters with body fat. The accumulation of excess fat around the heart can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. A new study by researchers at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark assigned participants to resistance training, high-intensity interval endurance training (HIIT) or no exercise. Results showed that only people who lifted weights decreased the fat lying closest to the heart—specifically, inside the sac that encases the heart (the pericardium).

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Exercise and Longevity for Women

Exercise and Longevity for Women

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | March 30, 2020 |

A new study further supports the benefits of maintaining cardiovascular fitness during middle-age and beyond. In a study presented at the European Society of Cardiology’s EuroEcho 2019 meeting in Vienna, high cardiovascular fitness was linked with significantly lower death risks from heart disease, cancer and other causes for middle-aged and older women.

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Physically Active Kids

More Benefits for Fit Kids

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | February 25, 2020 |

Heart health is not simply about having a strong heart muscle; a healthy cardiovascular system requires a healthy nervous system that regulates the heartbeat and supports efficient functioning whether a person is feeling calm or stressed. A new study from Finland shows that more physically active and fit children have better cardiac regulation than those who are less active and less fit.

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Men’s Health Research Review

By IDEA Authors | September 24, 2019 |

Men: Are you exercising and eating healthfully but not losing the weight you want? The good news is that there are more benefits to these two habits than just weight loss.

Megan Senger, professional fitness writer/editor and fitness instructor based in North Carolina, has summarized a few studies that center on men’s wellness, with comments on what the findings may mean for you.

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Advice on Salt Targets Heart Disease

By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD | August 20, 2019 |

While sodium is rampant in fast food, pizza and deli items, it can also be hiding in surprising amounts in everything from bread to ketchup to cereal. As a result, the average sodium intake of Americans is about 3,400 milligrams daily, mainly from commercial sources like restaurant meals and packaged foods. The latest advice on limiting salt intake comes in a new report released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that ties lower sodium intake to less risk of chronic disease.

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Evening Cardio Training and Hypertension

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | August 20, 2019 |

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).

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Pushups and Heart Health

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | June 14, 2019 |

Active middle-aged men who were able to do more than 40 pushups had a significantly lower risk of heart disease events during a 10-year follow-up period than men who could do fewer than 10 pushups, according to a study reported in JAMA Network Open (2019; doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.8341).

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More Long-Term Aerobic Fitness Benefits

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | April 22, 2019 |

New research adds to growing evidence that current cardiovascular fitness levels affect heart disease risks as far ahead as 9 years in the future. “Even among people who seem to be healthy, the top 25% of the most fit individuals actually have only half as high a risk [of heart disease] as the least fit 25%,” said principal investigator Bjarne Nes, PhD, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.

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Resistance Exercise and Heart Health

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | February 11, 2019 |

“People may think they need to spend a lot of time lifting weights, but just two sets of bench presses that take less than 5 minutes could be effective [in reducing heart disease risks], according to study author DC Lee, PhD, associate professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University, Ames.

Researchers analyzed data collected over 19 years from more than 12,000 male and female adult participants in The Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study conducted at the Cooper Clinic™ in Dallas.

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Exercise Program Can Restore Heart Muscle Health

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | January 11, 2019 |

Good news for people who have delayed starting a training program. If the following exercise regimen is begun before age 65, studies show that the heart muscle can regain elasticity, reversing stiffening that can develop from lack of physical activity. Cardiologists from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Health Resources in Dallas have been studying how to promote health and elasticity of the heart muscle.

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Boosting the Brain Health of Older Adults

By Cody Sipe, MS | December 6, 2018 |

Exercise is good for the aging brain. Indeed, the right kind of exercise can protect against neurodegeneration, the natural decline of brain functions that accompanies aging.

You could encourage your older clients to play “brain games” on computers or mobile apps. Alas, multiple studies say this approach helps only with the specific cognitive functions the games use (Bamidis et al. 2014). Hence, a computer game that requires a lot of visuospatial processing tends to improve visuospatial processing—but not much else.

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Healthy Habits Save Lives

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | October 11, 2018 |

A healthy lifestyle—including being physically active, eating a nutritious diet and not smoking—plays a significant role in living a longer, healthier life. This conclusion emerged from an observational study of 7,000 men and women aged 25–74 who were periodically assessed over a 35-year period. Researchers based the analysis on the American Heart Association’s definition of ideal cardiovascular health. This definition includes absence of clinical heart disease, together with positive outcomes on “Life’s Simple 7” health metrics:

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Something’s Fishy With Fish Oil

By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD | October 11, 2018 |

Don’t like fish? Well, you might not be able to turn to the supplement aisle to get the same benefits for your heart. A Cochrane report exploring 79 randomized trials of more than 112,000 adults (both with and without heart disease) showed that increasing omega-3 intake, mainly from fish oil pills taken for at least 1 year, did not significantly prevent heart attacks, strokes or deaths in general.

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IDEA Fitness Journal

IDEA Fitness Journal

Current Issue:
December 2019

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