Evidence is gathering that cardiac rehabilitation is a significant factor in the stabilisation of heart failure and unfortunately there are many of us who aren’t good at it. That includes patients, the NHS, local government and other health providers. There is no magic wand to this so we decided to help with producing a booklet that helps facilitate physical movement leading onto exercise. The booklet alone won’t do the work but it will highlight the wide variety of programmes and courses available to Heart Failure patients in the East Lancashire area where people get accustomed to the fact that exercise doesn’t have to mean the GYM; it is social interaction, it’s about having a laugh and a joke and who could think of anything better than that as well as being good for you!
We really wish we had the resources to pull this together for all Heart Failure patients but we don’t, however we are unsure what the future holds so we will have to wait and see.
Healthy Habits for people who want to help their Heart get healthy
Some very basic tips for Heart Health
Don’t smoke – Male smokers had an 86% higher risk of heart failure compared to those who had never smoked. Women smokers had a 109% higher risk.
Maintain a Healthy Weight – Men who were obese were 75% more likely to develop heart failure, and women were 106% more likely. Being overweight increased the risk of heart failure by 15% in men and 21% in women.
Exercise – . Men who regularly engaged in moderate physical activity, like walking, had a 21% lower risk of heart failure; women who did the same had a 13% lower risk. Higher levels of exercise and physical activity reduced this risk even more, by 33% in men and 36% in women.
Eat vegetables – Men and women who ate vegetables three to six times per week had a 26% and 27%, respectively, lower risk of heart failure than those who ate vegetables less than once per week.
Carers 12 Days of Christmas Special – Day 10
Stay connected with the outside world, even if it’s just by phone or online. Don’t isolate yourself. Talk to friends about something other than your situation. Stay interested in what would be going on in your life if you weren’t carer. It’s still there and you’re still a part of it.
Healthy Hearts at Work
A study by the British Heart foundation (BHF) was carried out among 1,383 UK workers. The findings were somewhat concerning.
It was found that overall, 81% of UK office workers fail to get the recommended amount of exercise a week. Some 55% spend more than half their working day sitting or standing still, with 48% eating lunch at their desks.
The health of small business workforces need improving, especially those based in an office environment. Small firms cannot take these recent findings lightly. Simple measures can be put into place to improve the health of staff, which in turn will be beneficial for spirit, morale and attitude.
In addition, 35% of workers don’t want to be seen getting hot and sweaty in front of other colleagues which is one potential barrier to healthy staff.
Lisa Purcell, project manager for the BHF’s Health at Work Programme said:
“Embarrassment shouldn’t prevent people from being healthy at work. The payoffs from even simple changes like taking a walk at lunchtime are too great to ignore.”
“Swapping tea-break biscuits for fruit or getting the team together for a lunchtime kickaround in the car park can improve productivity, reduce staff turnover and mean fewer sick days.”
Get on yer bike
Brings a new meaning of going to work – Not the meaning of the Norman Tebbit quote though.
This article was posted by the website business week and is an excellent article to show that you don’t have to pound away on the treadmill all the time.
You don’t necessarily have to sweat it out at the gym for hours every week to have a healthy heart. If your job keeps you relatively active, you’re reaping heart benefits, suggests new research.
In fact, the study found that men who were moderately active at work were 10 percent less likely to develop heart failure, while women who were moderately active at work were 20 percent less likely to develop heart failure.
Not surprisingly, the study found that the best of both worlds — physical activity during leisure time and work activity combined — led to even greater heart health.
“We showed that leisure activity and occupational activity and daily walking to and from work can reduce the risk of heart failure,” said the study’s senior author, Dr. Gang Hu, an assistant professor and director of the Chronic Disease Epidemiology Lab at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La.
He and his colleagues noted that their study may be the first to show that physical activity at work — and commuting to work — protect against heart failure in the same way that leisure-time exercise does.
Results of the study appear in the Sept. 28 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Hu, with lead author Yujie Wang, and the rest of their team reviewed data from two large groups of Finnish men and women. Just over 28,000 men and 29,874 women were included in the study.
The study volunteers were between 25 and 74 years old, according to the study. All filled out surveys on their levels of physical activity. For work activity, “low” activity was defined as office work, or any job where you’re sitting most of the day. “Moderate” activity at work includes jobs that require a lot of standing and walking, such as a waitress or store clerk. “High” levels of activity at work came from heavy manual labor that included walking and lifting in industrial or farm jobs.
Commuting activity was also divided into three categories: “low” meant no walking or cycling, “moderate” included up to 29 minutes of walking or cycling to get to work, and “high” was walking or bicycling more than 30 minutes daily to commute to work.
For leisure activity, the study defined “low” activity as almost completely inactive, such as reading or watching TV. “Moderate” included some physical activity for more than four hours a week, such as walking, biking, or gardening, but did not include commuting activity. “High” leisure activity included vigorous physical activity, such as running, jogging, swimming, heavy gardening or competitive sports, for more than three hours a week.
After an average 18.4 year follow-up, the researchers found that heart failure developed in 1,868 men and 1,640 women.
After adjusting for known risk factors such as age, smoking, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol and more, the researchers found that physical activity was protective against heart disease.
Physical activity during leisure time tended to provide the most benefit. In men, moderate activity during leisure time reduced the risk of heart failure by 17 percent, and high levels of leisure-time activity dropped the risk by 35 percent. In women, the risk reductions were 16 percent and 25 percent, respectively.
Physical activity during work was also protective. In men, moderate activity reduced the risk of heart failure by 10 percent, while high physical activity during work reduced the risk by 17 percent. In women, moderate activity reduced the risk of heart failure by 20 percent.
The researchers found an association between high commuting activity and a reduction in heart failure in women, but not in men (after adjusting for other risk factors).
They also found that any two activities combined reduced the risk of heart failure even more.
Hu said that the leisure activity was probably more protective simply because those people who were engaged in leisure activities were just getting more exercise.
“This study confirms the message — the more activity the better. It doesn’t matter where it comes from,” said Dr. Michael Davidson, director of preventive cardiology at the University of Chicago Hospital in Illinois.
“When thinking about increasing physical activity, people don’t always think about increasing their activity at work, but any activity — to and from work, at work or leisure activity — can reduce your risk of heart disease,” said Davidson.
Hu suggested that people try to increase physical activity during work time, especially because many people now spend the day sitting, using computers.
Puffed but good fun
Last night I started the first of my12 sessions with Beth Barron and her team at the Spirit of Sport centre in Burnley which is a fantastic building and is as well equipped as most private gyms. Anyway Beth is a Cardiac Rehabilitation Practitioner and she is super focussed and enthusiastic about the beneficial impact the right exercise can have on cardiac patients.
I walked away threatening to slate the programme, only kidding Beth, let me tell you it is a fantastic programme and is a great follow up to the initial cardiac rehabilitation programme. The instructors are in tune with you and the exercise level is built up over the 12 weeks. I didn’t like the look of the circuit training going on in the main gymnasium however, I don’t think I could have done it before my heart failure never mind after it. Well done Beth and team what a great programme.
This is where Beth is best. It is Burnley’s very own state of the art leisure and health centre. St Peter’s Leisure Centre.
The importance of being active
Regular physical activity will keep your heart healthy and help you maintain a healthy weight. You do not need to join a gym or start running marathons, but including exercise in your daily routine will help. Being physically active can mean going swimming or doing an exercise or dance class, but also includes simple everyday activites such as walking, gardening and using the stairs rather than a lift or escalator. These can all help reduce your risk of heart failure. People who can’t get around very well can do chair-based exercises as well.
The British Heart Foundation recommends 30 minutes of exercise a day.