Got Heart Disease? Get Moving!

Exercise Reduces Depression and Cardio Risks for Heart Patients

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If you have ischemic heart disease (IHD), exercising 3 times per week can reduce your cardiovascular risks as well as depression and emotional distress, according to a study in the April 6, 2005 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Heart Patients Benefit from Exercise and Stress Management

The study looked at IHD patients, breaking them into three groups. One group got supervised aerobic exercise training for 35 minutes 3 times per week for 16 weeks, plus usual medical care.

The second group got usual medical care plus weekly 1.5-hour stress management training for 16 weeks. The third group got usual medical care.

IHD patients in the exercise and stress management training groups showed lower average depression scores and reduced distress scores compared with patients receiving usual care only. The exercise and stress management training also showed improvements in cardiovascular risk markers, more than the usual care patients.

Mood and Stress Impact Heart Disease

Ischemic heart disease (IHD) is the leading cause of death in the United States and is rapidly becoming the leading cause of death in developing countries around the world. Emotions, mood and stress are factors in developing IHD. Researchers are now exploring the effects of treating heart patients to improve their mood and teaching them to deal with stress. Exercise is one natural, non-chemical prescription to improve mood and reduce stress.

Stress Management and Exercise

Develop a Low-Stress Lifestyle: Find out about how to de-stress your life.

11 Ways to Walk Away Stress: Use these tips to put your troubles behind you.

Take a 30-Minute Walk in the Park to Reduce Stress: Research has found that walking in a natural, green setting reduces stress.

Reference: James A. Blumenthal, Ph.D., of Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C. conducted the study. The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health. (JAMA. 2005;293:1626-1634)

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