Resistance training may reduce fat levels around the heart (above), but not all strength-based activities are beneficial for cardiovascular health. New research shows that occupational activities like routinely carrying heavy loads at work may have a negative impact on the heart.Read More
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).Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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).Read More
Plant-based diets are associated with a lower risk of heart failure in adults without known heart disease, while Southern diets consisting of more fried and processed foods and sweetened drinks are associated with greater risk, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (2019; 73, , April 30). The study looked at the association between five dietary patterns and risk of heart failure.Read More
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).Read More
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.Read More
“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.Read More
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.Read More
Salt: Enemy of the heart or wrongly convicted?
For years, health experts have been beating us over the head about the importance of scaling back our salt intake for the sake of our heart health. Based on research findings, the World Health Organization recommends a daily consumption of less than 2,000 milligrams of sodium—one teaspoon of salt—as a preventive measure against cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association is even stingier with the salt shaker—just 1,500 mg of sodium a day for individuals at risk of heart disease.
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.Read More
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:Read More
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.Read More
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