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Fitness Regimen Helps to Lower Blood Pressure

Posted May 24 2013 10:08pm

Nondrug approaches to lower high blood pressure (hypertension) are popular but data as to their efficacy has been inconsistent.  The American Heart Association issued a Scientific Statement in which it summarizes the blood pressure-lowering efficacy of several nondrug approaches and to provide a class of recommendation for their implementation in clinical practice.  Robert D. Brook, Chair of the AHA’s research panel and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Michigan (Michigan, USA), report that exercise-based regimens, including aerobic, dynamic resistance, and isometric handgrip  modalities, have “relatively stronger supporting evidence,” lending the panel to write that: “It is the consensus of the writing group that it is reasonable for all individuals with blood pressure levels >120/80 mmHg to consider trials of alternative approaches as adjuvant methods to help lower blood pressure when clinically appropriate.”

Brook RD, Appel LJ, Rubenfire M, Ogedegbe G, Bisognano JD, Elliott WJ, Fuchs FD, et al; on behalf of the American Heart Association Professional Education Committee of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research, Council on Cardiovascular and Stroke Nursing, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, and Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity. “Beyond Medications and Diet: Alternative Approaches to Lowering Blood Pressure: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.”  Hypertension. 2013 Apr 2.

  
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Tip #167 - Snooze, Don’t Lose
Too little sleep compromises many of the body’s biological processes, most notably the immune system, metabolic function, and cognitive performance (specifically, learning and memory). Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Massachusetts, USA) reported that sleep is important for the development of episodic memories, and particularly those of an emotional nature. The team studied 88 college students, and found that those subjects who slept a full evening remembered the emotional scene they were shown in far greater detail, as compared to those participants who stayed awake for 12 hours after viewing the scene.

Defying the adage that ‘you snooze, you lose,’ sleep is a vital process that helps to preserve memories. Don’t underestimate the restorative role of sleep: while the amount of sleep required is highly individualized, it is critical to get sleep of a sufficient duration that is followed by a spontaneous awakening and leaves you feeling refreshed and alert for the day.

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