Exercise especially important for older people with heart disease

It is well-known that exercise is good for cardiac health, but older adults tend to fall through the cracks when it comes to rehabilitation programs. Now, a study has shown that these individuals have the most to gain.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, being responsible for 1 in 4 deaths. Every year, approximately 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease, while about 735,000 people have a heart attack.

Adults over the age of 65 years are more likely than younger people to have heart disease because the heart changes with age. Heart disease is a significant cause of disability, according to the National Institute on Aging, who note that it affects the ability of millions of older people to be active and have a good quality of life.

Full story at Medical News Today

Wrist-worn step trackers accurate in predicting patient health outcomes

Determining how far patients with pulmonary disease can walk in six minutes has long been an effective clinical tool to help physicians determine their exercise capacity, as well as to aid in predicting health outcomes and mortality.

Now, in a new study, researchers at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City found that steps measured through a step tracker worn on the wrist can be used to estimate exercise capacity and determine the health status of patients, rather than the standardized six-minute walk distance test, which is usually conducted in a clinical setting.

Using the wrist-worn step trackers, researcher found data may be used in clinical care at higher intervals to effectively monitor patient progress and disease management. Researchers say the results are another example in how wearable and monitoring devices like Fitbits and Apple Watches can be used in patient care to improve outcomes.

Full story at Medical Xpress

Scientists identify a personality feature that could predict how often you exercise

Individuals who make concrete plans to meet their goals may engage in more physical activity, including visits to the gym, compared to those who don’t plan quite so far ahead, research shows. These research findings, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggest that self-reported levels of a trait called ‘planfulness’ may translate into real world differences in behavior.

Some people seem to be able to more consistently meet their goals than others, but it remains unclear if personality traits that have been found to promote goal achievement in the lab similarly encourage individuals to achieve long-term goals in their day-to-day lives, says lead researcher Rita M. Ludwig of the University of Oregon.

Conscientiousness, a measure of individuals’ orderliness and dependability on the Big Five Inventory of personality, has long been tied with healthy behaviors, notes Ludwig and colleagues Sanjay Srivastava and Elliot T. Berkman, also of the University of Oregon. Narrowing their focus to a single facet of this trait, planfulness, allows researchers to zero in on the psychological processes—such as mental flexibility, and a person’s ability to make short-term sacrifices in pursuit of future success—that contribute directly to achieving long-term goals.

Full story at Medical Xpress

Calorie restriction plus exercise can make bones more fragile

Calorie restriction, especially in combination with exercise, can make bones smaller and weaker, according to new research in mice.

In contrast, exercising while on a full calorie diet can benefit bone health, say the researchers.

They describe their investigation and its results in a recent Journal of Bone and Mineral Research paper.

“These findings were somewhat of a surprise for us,” says senior study author Dr. Maya Styner, an associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full story at Medical News Today

How Your Well Intentioned Exercises Can Go Wrong If You’re Not Careful

Exercise prescription is at the heart of every rehab professional’s arsenal.  Whether you are prescribing a simple one such as a straight leg raise or something much more complex involving coordination of proprioception and plyometrics, you are intending to help your patients.  There’s a key component that is often missed during rehab however, and when it is, it can limit your effectiveness.  It may even drive your patients to report increased pain with treatment and in the worst cases, it prevents your patient from achieving their goals.

I don’t believe this is intentionally missed in rehab, but it’s something you will rarely see in research and a component rarely focused on in school.  Is your intervention aimed at the wrong impairment?

Let’s start with this example that’s easier to see and then we’ll move onto one that may be a bit less obvious.

Full story at Physiospot

TWEETS SHOW HOW DIFFERENT U.S. REGIONS LIKE TO EXERCISE

Researchers used machine learning to find and comb through exercise-related tweets from across the United States, unpacking regional and gender differences in exercise types and intensity levels. By analyzing the language of the tweets, this method was also able to show how different populations feel about different kinds of exercise.

“In most cases, lower-income communities tend to lack access to resources that encourage a healthy lifestyle,” says Elaine Nsoesie, an assistant professor of global health at the School of Public Health at Boston University and a data science faculty fellow at the Rafik B. Hariri Institute for Computing & Computational Science.

“By understanding differences in how people are exercising across different communities, we can design interventions that target the specific needs of those communities,” she says.

Full story at Futurity

More seniors are dying in falls. Doctors could do more to reduce the risk.

Older adults worried about falling typically receive general advice: Take an exercise class. Get your vision checked. Stop taking medications for sleep. Install grab bars in the bathroom.

A new study suggests that sort of advice hasn’t proved to be very effective: Nearly three times more adults age 75 and older died from falls in 2016 than in 2000, according to a recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In 2016, 25,189 people in this age group died from falls, compared with 8,613 in 2000.  The rate of fatal falls for adults 75 and older more than doubled during this period, from 51.6 per 100,000 people in 2000 to 122.2 per 100,000 people in 2016, the report found.

Full story at news-medical.net

 

Exercises and stretches for hip pain

There are many possible causes of hip pain, ranging from muscle strains and injuries to arthritis and inflammatory disorders. However, gently exercising the hips can often help relieve pain and restore mobility.

In this article, we describe 14 exercises that can help strengthen the hips, improve joint mobility, and relieve hip pain.

Considerations before starting

Flexibility and strength exercises are key to relieving hip pain. Although these exercises may result in temporary discomfort, they should not cause or aggravate pain. If an exercise causes pain, stop doing it or try going at a slower or gentler pace.

Full story at Medical News Today

What to know about hamstring tendonitis

Tendonitis, or tendinitis, happens when a tendon either swells or sustains tiny tears. Tendonitis usually develops over time. For some people, however, it is a sudden injury. It is possible for tendonitis to get better with home treatment and gentle exercise, especially when people begin treatment early.

Hamstring tendonitis is an injury to one or both of the hamstring tendons, which are part of the thick band of muscles and tendons called the hamstrings. The hamstring tendons connect the hamstring muscles to the pelvis, knee, and shinbones.

As the hamstrings help the knee bend, an injury to either the tendons or the muscles can cause knee pain and difficulty walking or bending the knee. People often develop tendonitis because of overuse.

Full story at Medical News Today

Exercise adds up to big brain boosts

Anyone who trains for a marathon knows that individual running workouts add up over time to yield a big improvement in physical fitness. So, it should not be surprising that the cognitive benefits from workouts also accumulate to yield long-term cognitive gains. Yet, until now, there was has been little research to describe and support the underlying neurobiology. In new work being presented this week about the effects of exercise on the brain at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS) in San Francisco, researchers are finding that brain changes that occur after a single workout are predictive of what happens with sustained physical training over time.

“There is a strong and direct link between physical activity and how your brain works,” says Wendy Suzuki of New York University (NYU), who is chairing a symposium on the topic at CNS. “People still do not link physical health to brain and cognitive health; they think about fitting into a bikini or losing that last pound, not about all the brain systems they are improving and enhancing every time they work out.”

Full story at Medical Xpress