Researchers studied 55,000 adults aged 18 to 100 for over 15 years. They studied the following:
Whether they ran
How long they lived
Physicians recorded and analyzed the following:
Resting blood pressure
Body mass index (BMI)
Cardiorespiratory fitness (assessed using a maximal treadmill stress test)
Health behaviors (smoking, alcohol consumption, leisure-time physical activity)
Physician-diagnosed medical conditions
Parental history of cardiovascular disease
The study excluded analyses from individuals who reported participating in other activities besides running (e.g, cycling, swimming, walking, basketball, racquet sports, aerobic dance, and other sports-related activities).
The Results (Compared with Non-Runners):
Runners had a 30% lower risk of death from all causes .
Runners had a 45% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
Runners had a 50% lower risk of sudden cardiac death.
Cardiorespiratory fitness is a strong predictor of morbidity and mortality. (Morbidity is the condition of being unhealthy, ill, or diseased. Morbidity is the condition of being dead.) Runners had approximately 30% higher cardiorespiratory fitness than non-runners.
If You’re “Unhealthy”, Can You Still Benefit from Running?
Golf courses are the fifth most common place for people to suffer from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). According to the American Heart Association, a golfer is one of over 380,000 people in the United States each year to suffer from out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrest… and less than seven percent survive.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest vs Heart Attack — They’re Different
Sudden cardiac arrest is usually the first symptom of cardiovascular disease — especially in women. Women are 66% less likely than men to be diagnosed with heart disease before SCA strikes.
Sudden cardiac arrest accounts for 50% of cardiac deaths. Cardiac deaths are considered “sudden” if the death or cardiac arrest occurred within one hour of the onset of symptoms.
After your heart attack or some other “cardiac event”, such as a coronary artery bypass graft and/or stent placement, you may have received conflicting advice as to what level of activity is acceptable. Some of the things you may have heard are:
Don’t lift anything over 5 lbs.
Don’t lift anything over 10 lbs. “for a while”.
Don’t lift anything for a week.
Don’t drive more than 30 minutes.
Don’t “get exhausted” for a month.
Don’t exercise for a few weeks.
Don’t lift over 5 lbs. for a period of time — or ever.
Go back to whatever you were doing before.
These guidelines can be confusing and promote anxiety and inactivity. Physicians generally prescribe aerobic/endurance exercise, such as walking, to strengthen your cardiorespiratory system, but in order to return to activities of daily living (ADLs), resistance training is necessary to accomplish everyday tasks, such as:
Mowing the lawn
Carrying your children, groceries, or suitcase
Loading and unloading the trunk of a car/truck
Bending over to pick up the newspaper or toys off the floor
Lifting your grandchildren
Placing or removing items from a high shelf
Closing the trunk of a car or van
Opening a heavy door (e.g., door of a car, building, refrigerator, freezer, or dishwasher)
Resistance training enables you to perform these daily tasks safely, independently and more efficiently. By having a stronger musculoskeletal system, you decrease the cardiac demands of daily activities and increase your endurance capacity for other activities. Strength training has also been shown to maintain and buildstronger bones as well as slow or prevent bone loss. A strong structure will reduce your risk for developing other debilitating diseases (e.g., osteoporosis) and ultimately help you live a longer, stronger and happier life.
Muscular strength and endurance are important to prevent falls and safely return to vocational and recreational activities as well as activities of daily living. Most people need to do some type of lifting, carrying, or pushing in their daily routine. Your body has nine (9) fundamental human movement patterns. The foundation of your workouts should develop these movements: Continue reading “Weight Train After Your Heart Attack and Live Longer”→
Myalgia or muscle pain is a common complaint made by patients on cholesterol-lowering “statin” drugs. Oftentimes the muscle pain, cramps, weakness, and tenderness become intolerable and patients must discontinue statin drug therapy.
Consequences of Low Vitamin D
A study of over 5,500 patients averaging 56 years old found a correlation between vitamin D deficiency, statin* use, and the development of statin-induced myalgia (SIM). Vitamin D blood levels of 30-40 ng/mL are considered ideal. When patients had low vitamin D levels (≤15 ng/mL) at the time they started on the statin drug, SIM was accurately predicted.
*60% of the patients used Atorvastatin, a.k.a. Lipitor® 29% of the patients used Simvastatin, a.k.a. Zocor®
In another study presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions, the following results were presented:
81.3% had SIM when vitamin D levels <30 ng/mL
17.6% had SIM when vitamin D levels >30 ng/mL
62.1% had SIM when vitamin D levels <20 ng/mL
Four-fold higher rate of statin-induced myalgias occurred when vitamin D levels <20 ng/mL
They found low vitamin D is common in patients with hyperlipidemia
(abnormal lipid levels) — i.e., high cholesterol, high LDLs, low HDLs, high triglycerides.
In “The #1 Biggest Mistake That Affects Blood Pressure Readings“, wrong blood pressure cuff size topped the list as one of the most frequent errors made when measuring blood pressure. Be conscious of the following factors the next time you get a blood pressure reading. They can affect it by 5 to 50 points, and artificially high or low readings could affect your medical treatment.
1. Arm Position
Your palm should be facing up and your arm should be supported and horizontal at the level of the midpoint of your sternum (chest bone) which is at the approximate level of the right atrium of your heart. It may be necessary to place a pillow under your arm or adjust the chair or table to achieve the correct position.
If your upper arm is BELOW the level of the right atrium, your blood pressure readings will be too high (blood is flowing down into the arm).
If the upper arm is ABOVE heart level, the readings will be too low (blood is flowing down from the arm).
Researchers studied a group of outpatients to determine the effects of arm position on blood pressure measurements. Blood pressures were taken and compared in the following arm positions:
Sitting with arms hanging down and elbows resting on the armrests of a chair (i.e., the elbow is at a right angle)
Sitting with arms supported at the level of the mid-sternum
The results showed that blood pressure readings were significantly higher when sitting with arms on the armrest of the chair. Readings can be over 10 mm Hg higher in both systolic (upper number) and diastolic (lower number) pressures.
In another study of 100 random emergency room patients, blood pressures were compared in two positions: 1) Arm lax and hanging down parallel to the body and 2) Arm in the “correct” position. Among the seated patients, 22% of them were diagnosed with hypertension, but twice as many patients were diagnosed with high blood pressure with the arm hanging down. Be sure to note the position of your arm whenever a clinician takes your blood pressure. Continue reading “10 Factors That Affect Blood Pressure Readings”→