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Exercise, Coronary Artery Disease and Vein Health
By: Hratch L Karamanoukian, MD
December 11, 2008
A Harvard study of more than 44,000 men suggests that the type of exercise you do and the intensity with which you do it affect your risk of developing heart disease. It has long been demonstrated that exercise and coronary artery disease have an inverse relationship. That is, the more you exercise, the lower your risk of developing heart disease. This most recent study demonstrates in a scientific manner hat that the relationship is dose-respondent.
The study demonstrated several key points. First, total physical activity, running, weight training, and rowing each decreased the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). Therefore, you really can’t go wrong with exercise. Secondly, the study demonstrated that the intensity of exercise affected risk of CAD, independent of the amount of time spent exercising. The higher the exercise intensity, the lower your risk of CAD.
An interesting outcome of this study is that weight training reduced risk of CAD. The finding is, perhaps, unexpected since weight training is not a true aerobic exercise. The authors attributed this to increases in fat-free mass and thus resting metabolic rate, improved blood sugar control and lipoprotein profile, and reduced hypertension.
These findings are in line with American Heart Association guidelines which recommend aerobic exercise at least six days a week and weight-training two or three times weekly. Walking was found to be the most common type of exercise in this study and can be very effective, but only if you walk at a rate of 3 mph or faster.
The important message to take from this study is that the longer you exercise and the more intensely you exercise, the greater the benefit to your heart. Adding a resistance or strength-training portion to your workout will garner you even greater rewards.
It is also well documented that exercise, such as walking is also great for vein health, as it gets blood out of the legs - minimizing blood pooling in reduncdant varicose veins! A double benefit to exercisiing.
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For more information about varicose veins, spider veins, venous reflux and treatment options such as the closure procedure or guided sclero, contact Dr. Karamanoukian at the Vein Treatment Center, a National Center of Excellence for Vein Disorders by email or by phone at (716) 839-3638.