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Cardiovascular Disease

Exercise Program Can Restore Heart Muscle Health

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.

Two women improving their cardiovascular fitness by walking briskly with hand weights.

Cardiovascular Fitness for Women

Cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in women, is a class of diseases involving the heart and blood vessels. Learn about this disease, its associated risk factors and the pertinent research developments; then consider the practical training guidelines for clients.

Healthy Habits Save Lives

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:

Something’s Fishy With Fish Oil

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.

Getting to the Heart of Pre-Exercise Screening

A preparticipation health screening helps trainers and prospective clients safely launch into an exercise program. When the American College of Sports Medicine updated its pre-exercise screening guidelines 3 years ago, it made one major shift: It stopped recommending the use of a tool to assess cardiovascular disease risk.

The Optimal Amount of Exercise for Heart Health

Arterial stiffness, which increases with sedentary living, is associated with higher risk of heart disease. It’s well known that exercise can help, but how much—or how little—is enough?
“While near-daily, vigorous lifelong (>25 years) endurance exercise training prevents arterial stiffening with ageing, this rigorous routine of exercise training over a lifetime is impractical for most individuals,” noted the authors of a new study, which aimed to determine the least amount of exercise necessary to reduce arterial stiffness.

Soccer Is Medicine

Just in time for the World Cup™, researchers have found that football, or soccer as it’s known in the United States, is medicine. So go ahead and encourage clients to play it in their spare time! “Football is broad-spectrum medicine for patients with hypertension, type 2 diabetes and other lifestyle diseases,” according to Peter Krustrup, PhD, professor and head of the Sports and Health Sciences Research Unit at the University of Southern Denmark. Practicing soccer includes endurance training, high-intensity interval training and strength training, the scientists noted.

What Fitness Pros Need to Know About New Blood Pressure Guidelines

New guidelines on high blood pressure made headlines late last year because they suggest that nearly half of all Americans have hypertension—up from about one-third under previous guidelines. This is big news for fitness professionals because regular exercise is an excellent tool for regulating blood pressure. In this issue, we’ll review what you need to know about the new blood pressure guidelines.

Pillars of Functional Training for Active Aging

Healthy aging is more than the absence of disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO): “For most older people, the maintenance of functional ability has the highest importance” (WHO 2015). Colin Milner, founder and CEO of the International Council on Active Aging in Vancouver, British Columbia, echoes these comments. “When looking at the healthy aging market today, the focus is all about function,” he says.

130/80 = High Blood Pressure

For the first time since 2003, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have produced a substantial report updating blood pressure recommendations. People with a reading of 130/80 are now classified as having high blood pressure. This is down from 140/90.
According to the ACC, this means 46% of U.S. adults will now be categorized as having hypertension.
Those in the “hypertensive crisis” category require medication intervention and immediate hospitalization if there is organ damage, according to the report.

Meditation: Part of a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle?

The American Heart Association has released a scientific statement noting that meditation has potential to reduce some heart disease risk factors and may be considered an adjunct to a heart-healthy lifestyle of good nutrition, physical activity and smoking cessation, combined with medical treatment for conditions like high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

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