Researcher Touts Benefits of ''Gym'' Therapy
Everyone knows that exercise is good for the heart. And numerous studies have confirmed that exercise can help prevent diseases such as high blood pressure and type II diabetes.
Now new research suggests that people who suffer from these conditions can reduce their risk of developing cardiovascular-related complications by participating in moderate physical activity.
Individuals with high blood pressure or diabetes are at increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Dr. Kerry J. Stewart, an exercise physiologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., conducted an extensive review of 235 research studies, searching for possible ways exercise might boost the cardiovascular health of people with these conditions.
He found that there are several different ways that exercise can alleviate some cardiovascular-related problems brought on by diabetes and high blood pressure.
For example, exercise improves the ability of blood vessels to dilate, allowing better blood flow during times of stress. And it can help lower body-fat levels, which is particularly important for individuals with type II diabetes.
In addition to the pharmacological treatments currently available, Stewart suggests that ''patients with these conditions can be treated with 'gym' therapy, which is low risk and widely available.''
Of course, it is essential that anyone with these conditions first obtain medical clearance and possibly undergo an exercise stress test prior to beginning an exercise program.
Source: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2002; 288, 1622-1631
This appeared in ACE FitnessMatters, ACE's official magazine.
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