Cardio: The gift of heart health!

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Valentines day is a great time to consider the gift cardiovascular exercise is for your heart:

Cardio prevents heart disease.

  • Regular cardio leads to a 42%-44% reduction in the risk of developing heart disease.
  • Even people who got fit later in life reduced heart disease and cardiac deaths by  44%-52%, despite changes in body weight.

Cardio protects even if you have heart disease. 

  • It reduces the risk of dying from the disease.
  • It reduces the number of times you are admitted to the hospital.
  • Cardio improves prognosis after a heart event.
  • The benefits are greater than those seen from medications alone.

Cardio protects even if you have risk factors.

  • Protection is seen even in people with hypertension, obesity, type two diabetes.
  • People with risk factors who are fit have a better prognosis than people who are not fit with no risk factors.

If you are at high risk with lots of risk factors, one of the absolute best ways to lower your risk is to improve cardiovascular fitness.*

All it takes is about thirty minutes of moderate intensity cardio, three days a week to give your heart one of the most powerful protections available at any weight, age or health status!

Happy Valentines Day!  Cheers to your heart health!

Keep Moving, Be Well,

Janet

Janet Huehls, MA, RCEP, CYT, CHWC

UMass Memorial Weight Center Exercise Program

Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist

Certified Health and  Wellness Coach


These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.

Please share these posts with anyone you know interested in losing weight with or without weight loss surgery.  Click here to learn more about the UMass Memorial Weight Center

* Source: Exercise and the Cardiovascular System. Lavie, C, et. al. Circulation Research (American Heart Association Journal) July 2, 2015.

 

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by | February 12, 2018 · 4:40 pm

Weight and Heart Health

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It’s heart month so let’s focus on the great news about exercise and heart health.  When patients share that they want to lose weight in order to be healthy, I love sharing some great news.  You can improve your health while losing weight!   We connect being overweight with being unhealthy and thin with being healthy, yet the research does not support this when it comes to heart heath.

The “obesity paradox” is the term used when research shows people with a higher body weight have a lower risk of heart disease and premature death than those at a recommended body weight. But, when fitness level is included in the data, there is no paradox! In every weight category, people who are fit had a lower risk of a heart event and better survival, even if they already have heart disease!

There is considerable evidence that high levels of cardio fitness eliminates or significantly lowers the risk of cardiac death in people who are overweight and obese, even in those with heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Therefore, cardiac fitness is more important than obesity in long term prognosis.

Here are some more key findings:

  • People who are unfit had double the risk of dying, regardless of body weight.
  • Year to year changes in fitness were better at predicting future risk of developing hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and high cholesterol than changes in body weight.
  • When people remained fit, even when body weight increased, their risk of  heart disease and risk of dying from any cause did not increase.
  • People with heart disease and heart failure but with preserved fitness had good survival regardless of body weight.

If you are looking to lose weight to be healthy, and are exercising regularly, be confident you are reaching your goal long before the scale reaches your goal weight.    Certainly, there are added benefits of getting to your healthy weight. Based on the overwhelming evidence,  we can define a healthy weight for your heart as the weight that allows you to stay fit.

Keep Moving, Be Well,

Janet

Janet Huehls, MA, RCEP, CYT, CHWC

UMass Memorial Weight Center Exercise Program

Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist

Certified Health and  Wellness Coach


These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.

Please share these posts with anyone you know interested in losing weight with or without weight loss surgery.  Click here to learn more about the UMass Memorial Weight Center

 

Source: Exercise and the Cardiovascular System

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by | February 7, 2018 · 3:38 pm

Do fitness tracker really track fitness?

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Does your fitness tracker really tell you how fit you are?

The definition of fitness for health is “The ability to carry out daily tasks with vigor and alertness, without undue fatigue, and with ample energy to enjoy leisure-time pursuits and respond to emergencies” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

The ability to do daily tasks, meet emergencies and do activities you enjoy require a certain level of strength, stamina and mobility.   Getting steps does not train the body to have these three qualities.  Exercise does.

When we exercise, we help our body have the stamina, strength and mobility to be fit for what we need and want to do.
So why track steps?
The purpose of tracking steps is to avoid being inactive.   Prolonged stillness seems to increase the risk for many diseases. This recent study found that moving your body in some way every 30 minutes seems to offer the best protection for your longevity.
So, fitness trackers are really physical activity trackers.  Your fitness is measured by how easily you live your daily life and can do the things you enjoy. Your fitness can only be tracked by you.
Use your fitness tracker to remind you to move often.  Use your daily life to remind you to set some time aside to practice having the stamina, strength and mobility to enjoy it!

Keep Moving, Be Well,

Janet

Janet Huehls, MA, RCEP, CYT, CHWC

UMass Memorial Weight Center Exercise Program

Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist

Certified Health and  Wellness Coach


These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.

Please share these posts with anyone you know interested in losing weight with or without weight loss surgery.  Click here to learn more about the UMass Memorial Weight Center

 

 

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by | January 29, 2018 · 9:01 pm

Your immune system boost!

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The flu session is upon us.  The flu shot, washing  hands, eating well, getting enough rest  are all great strategies.  However… (you know what I am going to say next), exercise is one of the best ways to boost immune system function.

But, not always….

It is generally accepted that prolonged periods of intensive exercise training can depress immunity, while regular moderate intensity exercise is beneficial.

2015 Article in Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science

According to the research, the best way to boost your immune system through exercise is to avoid longer duration or high intensity exercise and do regular moderate intensity and duration exercise.   Exercise longer than an hour and/or high intensity exercises drains immune system function and increase the risk of illness.  But a thirty minute bout of moderate intensity exercise, where your breathing feels comfortable to comfortably challenged, gives immediate immune system benefits.

So truly, more is not better – especially this time of year!

Keep Moving, Be Well,

Janet

Janet Huehls, MA, RCEP, CYT, CHWC

UMass Memorial Weight Center Exercise Program

Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist

Certified Health and  Wellness Coach


These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.

Please share these posts with anyone you know interested in losing weight with or without weight loss surgery.  Click here to learn more about the UMass Memorial Weight Center

 

 

 

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by | January 22, 2018 · 4:14 pm

Test your knowledge – answers!

list-2389219_1280This article , providing information about exercise and weight loss for people with arthritis was our first “test your knowledge” blog to boost our savvy fitness consumer skills.

What myths did you find?  Here are the ones I see:

  • The image:  Connecting information about exercise with images of “six pack abs” only increases the idea that the purpose of exercise is to look a certain way, and that having toned abs means you are healthy and fit.  This is just not the definition of fitness.   I know some very fit people who are carrying extra weight and have a strong core so they are able to do what the want and need to do in life more easily; that is the whole point of fitness.
  • The title:  “tighten up abs” in a way that is pain free.  The purpose of exercise for arthritis is to build strength around arthritic joints in a way that reduces inflammation and supports joints with movement.   Tightening abs is about how they look not how they function to reduce arthritis pain.
  • The exercises:  If you have arthritis, getting up and down off the floor is a challenge, if not impossible.  Most importantly, our core muscles are stabilizers that are used 99% of the time in an upright position, and need to be trained in that position, not while laying on the floor.  Check out this blog for more info on a truly functional core.

How did you do with your savvy fitness consumer skills?  We do these types of blogs every so often so we can enjoy exercise without the myths draining motivation.

Keep Moving, Be Well,

Janet

These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.

Please share these posts with anyone you know interested in losing weight with or without weight loss surgery.  Click here to learn more about the UMass Memorial Weight Center

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by | January 17, 2018 · 3:22 pm

Test your knowledge

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Ready to test your know-how as a savvy fitness consumer?

Check out this short article , providing information about exercise and weight loss for people with arthritis.  Post in the comments section what myths you see.

I will reveal the answers in the next blog.

Have fun!

Keep Moving, Be Well,

Janet

These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.

Please share these posts with anyone you know interested in losing weight with or without weight loss surgery.  Click here to learn more about the UMass Memorial Weight Center

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by | January 9, 2018 · 6:45 pm

Resolutions… Why Wait?

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Here is a link to a blog by an insightful career coach.  The blog is from last year and directed toward career goals, yet the message is timeless and crosses all areas of well-being – including weight loss goals.   She proposes three questions to ask yourself each January….instead of setting resolutions.  Why not set resolutions?  Because January is a great time for recovery from the holidays and reflection of the year past.  December is no time for reflection as the holidays fill our days with a longer to do list and more emotions to sort though.

Here are the questions revised for this year and for reaching your health and well-being goals.

  • What went well in 2017?  What were your accomplishments that you’re really excited about?
  • What did you learn in 2017 about what makes it easier for you to maintain a healthy weight?
  • What would you have done differently? This third question will begin to prepare you for  having some 2017 goals that are based on what you learned last year rather than just a reaction to the holiday stress.

So, enjoy a January free of pressures to set resolutions.  Take a walk to help your brain learn and be creative as you ponder these questions.  When you return, jot down the answers.  Let them “simmer” a bit until February 1st.

Wait to set resolutions and you will be ready to set goals for 2018 that are well thought out and and more lasting .

May you discover an overflow of health and happiness in 2018!

Keep Moving, Be Well,

Janet

These weekly blogs are general guidelines. These guidelines apply to patients who are cleared by a physician for the type of exercise described. Please contact your physician with any concerns or questions. Always report any symptoms associated with exercise, such as pain, irregular heartbeats, and dizziness or fainting, to your physician.

Please share these posts with anyone you know interested in losing weight with or without weight loss surgery.  Click here to learn more about the UMass Memorial Weight Center

 

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by | January 2, 2018 · 1:52 pm