Tag Archives: Exercise

Health: American Heart Association Updates Its ‘Optimal Checklist’ (2022)

October 2022 – The American Heart Association (AHA) recently revised its checklist for achieving optimal heart health, introducing its new Life’s Essential 8. The list replaces the AHA’s decade-old Life’s Simple 7.

Sleep health is the new addition to the cardiovascular health scoring tool, which now advises that adults get seven to nine hours per night. The organization updated four of the categories:

  • Diet: More emphasis was given to following heart-healthy diets like the DASH and Mediterranean.
  • Nicotine exposure: Secondhand smoke and vaping were added as risk factors.
  • Blood lipids: People now can get a non-fasting blood sample that measures total, HDL, and non-HDL cholesterol. Non-HDL cholesterol can provide similar risk information as LDL cholesterol.
  • Blood sugar: Measurements now include hemoglobin A1c, a key component to assessing type 2 diabetes risk.
  • Three categories were unchanged:
  • Physical activity: The optimal weekly level is at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity.
  • Body mass index (BMI): A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is ideal for heart health.
  • Blood pressure: Levels less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) remain optimal. Stage 1 hypertension is 130 to 139 mm Hg for systolic pressure (the first number) or 80 to 89 mm Hg for diastolic pressure (the second number).
  • You can calculate your heart health score at mlc.heart.org. The guidelines were published online June 29, 2022, by Circulation.

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Brain Health: The Benefits Of Endurance Exercise

Aging: The Importance Of Cardiovascular Exercise

Health: Preventing Deadly Falls Among The Elderly

Atherosclerosis: Stress, Lack Of Sleep & Exercise And Poor Diet Raise Risks

Swirski acknowledged that “there is no question” that genetics play a role in cardiovascular health, but in the last several years, four risk factors — stress, sleep interruption or fragmentation, diet, and sedentary lifestyle — have been clearly identified as contributing to atherosclerosis, commonly referred to as hardening of the arteries, which can lead to a variety of complications, including death.

Infographic: What Is Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Charts: Calories Burned In 30-Minutes Of Exercise

Research: Importance Of Exercise & Movement For Brain Function & Health

But the connection between movement and the brain goes deeper than you might think. A revolutionary new understanding of the mind-body connection is revealing how our thoughts and emotions don’t just happen inside our heads, and that the way we move has a profound influence on how our minds operate. This opens up the possibility of using our bodies as tools to change the way we think and feel.

Evidence is starting to stack up that this is indeed the case, and it isn’t all about doing more exercise. In my new book, Move! The new science of body over mind, I explore emerging research in evolutionary biology, physiology, neuroscience and cell biology to find out which body movements affect the mind and why.

Whatever it is that you want from your mind – more creativity, improved resilience or higher self-esteem – the evidence shows that there is a way of moving the body that can help. Here is my pick of the best ways to use your body to achieve a healthier, better-functioning mind.

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Infographic: ‘Stay Active To Lower Blood Pressure’

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  • High blood pressure is one of the most common modifiable risk factors for heart disease and stroke in women.
  • Approximately, 1 in 2 adult women in the US has elevated blood pressure (>120/80).
  • Physical activity can help to prevent and control blood pressure by strengthening the heart, contributing to a healthy weight, and reducing stress. 

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