Category Archives: cardiovascular health

Endurance but not resistance training has anti-aging effects – Study

Researchers have discovered evidence that endurance exercise, such as running, swimming, cross-country skiing and cycling, will help you age better than resistance exercise, which involves strength training with weights, as reported in Medical Xpress.

In a study published in the European Heart Journal, researchers in Germany looked at the effects of three types of exercise—endurance training, high intensity interval training and resistance training—on the way cells in the human body age, and they found that endurance and high intensity training both slowed or even reversed cellular aging, but that resistance training did not.

 

1-endurancebut.jpg

Take home image showing the effects of three types of exercise — endurance training, high intensity interval training and resistance training — on the way cells in the human body age, and they found that endurance and high intensity training both slowed or even reversed cellular aging, but that resistance training did not. Credit: Ulrich Laufs, Christian Werner and the European Heart Journal

Our DNA is organized into chromosomes in all the cells in our bodies. At the end of each chromosome is a repetitive DNA sequence, called a telomere, that caps the chromosome and protects its ends from deteriorating. As we grow older, the telomeres shorten and this is an important molecular mechanism for cell aging, which eventually leads to cell death when the telomere are no longer able to protect the chromosomal DNA. The process of telomere shortening is regulated by several proteins. Among them is the enzyme telomerase that is able to counteract the shortening process and can even add length to the telomeres. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under cardio exercise, cardiovascular health, endurance sports, weight training

It’s official – spending time outside is good for you – Study

One of my favorite songs as a kid in the 1940’s was “Don’t fence me in.”
Here are some of the lyrics:
Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above
Don’t fence me in
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love
Don’t fence me in

It appears I still feel that way, particularly when it comes to exercise. Working out in the health club really turns me off.

A new report reveals that exposure to green space reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, and high blood pressure.

adult alone blur close up

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on Pexels.com

Populations with higher levels of green space exposure are also more likely to report good overall health – according to global data involving more than 290 million people. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, cardiovascular health, Exercise, exercise benefits, high blood pressure, stress, stress reduction

New review highlights benefits of plant-based diets for heart health

There seems to be a lot of pro-plant based diet info coming out of late. The old ‘meat and potatoes’ diets we grew up on in the ’50’s are being viewed in some doubt. Attitudes change as we learn more about health benefits. While I don’t mean to equate smoking with eating meat, I remember when my first wife was pregnant with our daughter in the 1960’s she said she was going to quit smoking till the baby was born. I thought that seemed really extreme at the time. These days no sane mom-to-be would consider ‘lighting up.’

phc.jpg

Vegetarian, especially vegan, diets are associated with better cardiovascular health, according to a new review published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases.

Researchers with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine looked at multiple clinical trials and observational studies and found strong and consistent evidence that plant-based dietary patterns can prevent and reverse atherosclerosis and decrease other markers of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, including blood pressure, blood lipids, and weight. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under blocked arteries, cardiovascular diseases, cardiovascular health, cholesterol, good weight loss foods, HDL Cholesterol, hypertension, LDL Cholesterol, weight loss

Exercise increases brain size, new research finds

Here is another source of the same facts I have been reporting in this blog for some years now. Your brain gets as much benefit from your cardiovascular exercise as your body.

Aerobic exercise can improve memory function and maintain brain health as we age, a new Australian-led study has found.

Tj47GpMT-fCke7VFFVL_0sYa-Zt7-0ZHqTWr4um1KmdFh1SpY_RzDpvc0ckcSR-2

In a first of its kind international collaboration, researchers from NICM and the Division of Psychology and Mental Health at the University of Manchester in the UK examined the effects of aerobic exercise on a region of the brain called the hippocampus, which is critical for memory and other brain functions.

Brain health decreases with age, with the average brain shrinking by approximately five per cent per decade after the age of 40.

Studies in mice and rats have consistently shown that physical exercise increases the size of the hippocampus but until now evidence in humans has been inconsistent. (my emphasis)

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under aging brain, brain, brain function, brain health, cardio exercise, cardiovascular diseases, cardiovascular health, Exercise, exercise and brain health, exercise benefits, Healthy brain

Cardio exercise strengthens both body and brain

With Thanksgiving looming, this is a great time to reaffirm our resolve to exercise regularly. OR, it is the ideal time to resolve to exercise regularly in the coming year and maybe begin to address physical and weight problems that we have neglected.

Regular readers know that I have posted numerous times on the value of exercise not only for our bodies, but also for our brains. On the top of this page is IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT YOUR BRAIN.

If you click on that link you can find a page full of blog posts on the subject.

Our ancestors engaged in some serious cardio exercise just to get food.

Our ancestors engaged in some serious cardio exercise just to get food. No walking down a supermarket aisle for them.

And now, the New York Times joins in the fray with Gretchen Reynolds’s article Exercise and the Ever-Smarter Human Brain.
Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under aerobics, aging brain, brain, brain function, brain health, cardio exercise, cardiovascular health

Recreational, commuter biking lower cardiovascular disease risk – AHA

As an enthusiastic bicycle rider and supporter of the exercise, I was really pleased to see the results of the American Heart Association studies. Here is a summary:

    •    People who bike regularly, either recreationally or as a way to commute, appear to have a lower risk of cardiovascular illness, according to studies conducted in Denmark and Sweden.
    •    Middle-aged and older Danes who took up biking and stuck with it had a 26 percent lower risk of developing coronary artery disease, compared with non-bikers.
    •    In Sweden, those who regularly biked to work were less likely to develop high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes and obesity — key risk factors for cardiovascular illness.

bikingpictures08 copy.jpg

Here I am riding on Chicago’s Northerly Island in my retirement.

People who bike regularly, either for pleasure or as a way to commute, appear to have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, according to two separate studies published simultaneously in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation and Journal of the American Heart Association, the AHA/ASA’s Open Access Journal. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under American Heart Association, biking, cardiovascular diseases, cardiovascular health, commuter biking, regular bike riding

Harvard study sheds light on dairy fat cardiovascular disease risk

Because  low fat diets were the rage for a while, people have become confused about the value and necessity of including fats in their diets. I love coconut oil, a saturated fat. I eat it every day and have a Page of information – Coconut Oil – Why you should include it in your diet on it.

Until recently, when you visited the dairy aisle, chances are you headed straight for the blue carton of milk—the skim milk that is. But recent buzz about dairy fat may cause shoppers to pause in front of the oft-shunned red carton of whole milk or other full-fat dairy products, as research suggests that their relationship to heart health is more complex than was once believed. While most studies to date have focused on the association between dairy fat and cardiovascular risk factors, few have examined the relationship to actual onset of cardiovascular disease.

healthy-fats.jpg

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under cardiovascular diseases, cardiovascular health, Fats, healthy fats, saturated fats

Coffee drinkers have better arteries – Tufts

Drinking three to five cups a day linked to lower risk of arterial plaque.

I enjoy coffee and have some every morning. I drink decaf because I don’t like to introduce unhealthy chemicals like caffeine into my system. That’s just me. I am not trying to proselytize here, just get the facts down, because the latest from the Tufts Health Letter interested me as a coffee drinker and blogger who covers health.

diff-types-coffee

“Scientists may now better understand at least one way in which coffee could help to protect against cardiovascular disease. A large new Korean study reports that people drinking three to five cups of coffee daily were 41% less likely to show signs of coronary artery calcium than non-coffee drinkers. This calcification is an early indicator of the artery-clogging plaques (atherosclerosis) that cause coronary artery disease, which afflicts nearly 16 million Americans.  Continue reading

13 Comments

Filed under cardiovascular diseases, cardiovascular health, coffee

Vitamin B-12

B12_sourcesAs essential as B-12 is, it can be tricky to get enough in your diet. Foods that contain B-12 include red meat, organ meats like kidneys and liver, eggs, yogurt, and cheese, and seafood — definitely a problem for vegans or vegetarians. Additionally, many people, especially adults over 50, have trouble absorbing B-12. Commonly prescribed drugs can also cause nutritionally deficiencies, including Vitamin B-12, which have been linked to many health conditions.

Our Better Health

17th November 2014      By Dr. Edward F. Group     Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Vitamin B-12 is one of the more discussed vitamins and for good reason. It is important for your health overall as it helps several organs and systems in your body function properly, including the brain, the nervous and skeletal systems, DNA replication and energy creation processes.

Let’s take a look at a few reasons why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin B-12.

1. Supports Cardiovascular Health

You’ve probably heard that B-12 is good for cardiovascular health. The way that works is this…

Homocysteine is a protein that naturally forms as a byproduct of your body’s processes. When it builds up, it can corrode and inflame arteries and blood vessels, placing strain on the heart and cardiovascular system. Vitamin B-12 helps converts homocysteine to methionine, a protein the body uses…

View original post 629 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under bone health, cardiovascular health

Exercising Outdoors in Cold Weather

More than 200 million Americans are experiencing less than freezing temperatures. The Weather Channel this morning reported that there were 350 cold temp records set in 45 states. We are getting late December weather in mid-November.

I hope the onset of extreme cold weather is not deterring you from the exercise you do outside. It may be less comfortable, but just as rewarding to continue after temps drop as long as you follow some simple rules.
no-such-thing-as-bad-weather

As a Chicagoan, I never even leave my apartment without checking the weather report. We have 25 degree temperature ranges nearly every day and it can be very easy not to mention uncomfortable to make a mistake about the weather.

Once temps fall below freezing, you need to be on guard against frostbite. This occurs on exposed skin.

On the 99 percent of your skin that is covered, you will want to wear layers. It is a big mistake to dress too warmly to exercise in cold weather. Your exercise will generate a lot of heat, but as your sweat evaporates, you will lose body heat and could become chilled.

Dr. Mike Bracko, of the American College of Sports Medicine with an EdD in exercise physiology, said that the first place you start is what you wear. “Most people dress too warmly. The key is how many layers.”

For running last week in Calgary where the temp was 17 degrees Fahrenheit, Bracko wore a first layer of wool and synthetics which wick away perspiration from your skin.

Further on that subject, the Mayo Clinic says, “Dress in layers that you can remove as soon as you start to sweat and then put back on as needed. First, put on a thin layer of synthetic material, such as polypropylene, which draws sweat away from your body. Avoid cotton, which stays wet next to your skin.

“Next, add a layer of fleece or wool for insulation. Top this with a waterproof, breathable outer layer.

“You may need to experiment before you find a combination of clothing that works well for you based on your exercise intensity. If you’re lean, you may need more insulation than someone who is heavier.”

As a 150 pound five foot nine guy, I can relate to that last part about needing more insulation. My lack of fat (insulation) requires more attention. One last point on layering: it is a perfect example of 1 + 1 = 3. How so? When you add one layer you are also adding a layer of dead air in between and dead air is the best insulator in the world.

Now that we have the body covered, what about the extremities? I can attest that my most vulnerable points are my fingertips and toes.

If you are wearing more than one layer of sox, or thicker sox, Bracko suggests getting shoes about a half size bigger.

After experimenting with goose down filled ski gloves, I have settled on simple glove mitts. These are convertible mittens that slide back to reveal bare fingers. In their mitten mode these keep my fingers warmer than anything I have ever tried.

Toes are another problem. I wear wool sox and in extreme cold put wool sox over thin layered silk ones. But the best thing for protecting my toes is a layer of tinfoil on the bottoms of my shoes that reflects the heat of my body back up and warms my toes.

You may have noticed by now that the material cotton has been pretty much conspicuous by its absence. You don’t want cotton next to your skin in the cold. It absorbs perspiration and then makes you cold as your body cools. The synthetic materials wick away the perspiration and keep you comfortable.

You can exercise outside and get the benefits of both exercise and being outdoors if you just take a few precautions. I know that for cold weather biking, it is just as much fun to ride in the cold and there are usually less people out competing for space on the bike path.

For more on cold weather exercise, check out A Cold Weather Exercise Tip, 11 Cold Weather Exercise Tips, Cold Weather Cycling Tips.

Tony

Leave a comment

Filed under cardiovascular health, Exercise, weight control

How Healthy are Blueberries? – Infographic

In a few words, blueberries are very healthy. Blueberries benefit our cardiovascular health, brain health, insulin response and reduce our risk of getting cancer.

ded33d672109f64477d906a069998d81

Tony

4 Comments

Filed under blueberries, brain health, cancer, cardiovascular health

Researchers Pinpoint Upper Safe Limit of Vitamin D Blood Levels

Good info on the rockstar of vitamins …

Cooking with Kathy Man

Researchers claim to have calculated for the first time, the upper safe limit of vitamin D levels, above which the associated risk for cardiovascular events or death raises significantly, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

There is increasing evidence that vitamin D plays a pivotal role in human physiology. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to cardiovascular events and mortality, but previous studies have found supplementation fails to decrease mortality or cardiovascular events, while other studies found only minor positive effects.

“The unpredictable results from previous studies may be due to the misconception that ‘the higher the better,’” said Yosef Dror, PhD, of Hebrew University in Rehovot, Israel, and lead author of the study. “Although our study did not directly test the impact of vitamin D supplementation, we believe our results suggest it may be possible that…

View original post 233 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under cardiovascular diseases, cardiovascular health, cardiovascular risk, Vitamin D

New Understanding of Cardiovascular Health Benefits of Vegan, Vegetarian Diets

While carnitine is naturally occurring in red meats, including beef, venison, lamb, mutton, duck, and pork, it’s also a dietary supplement available in pill form and a common ingredient in energy drinks. With this new research in mind, Hazen cautions that more research needs to be done to examine the safety of chronic carnitine supplementation.

Cooking with Kathy Man

A compound abundant in red meat and added as a supplement to popular energy drinks has been found to promote atherosclerosis – or the hardening or clogging of the arteries – according to Cleveland Clinic research published online this week in the journal Nature Medicine.

The study shows that bacteria living in the human digestive tract metabolize the compound carnitine, turning it into trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), a metabolite the researchers previously linked in a 2011 study to the promotion of atherosclerosis in humans. Further, the research finds that a diet high in carnitine promotes the growth of the bacteria that metabolize carnitine, compounding the problem by producing even more of the artery-clogging TMAO.

The research team was led by Stanley Hazen, MD, Ph D, Vice Chair of Translational Research for the Lerner Research Institute and section head of Preventive Cardiology & Rehabilitation in the Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute…

View original post 477 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under cardio exercise, cardiovascular diseases, cardiovascular health, vegan, vegetarianism