Heart Beat: January 2010

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Just three months of physical activity can provide older adults with diabetes with significant heart health improvements, according to research presented at the 2009 Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in October. Researchers studied adults between ages 65 and 83 who had type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol to see how increased physical activity might affect arterial stiffness. One group of subjects participated in vigorous physical activity for an hour three days a week for three months and the other group did no aerobic exercise at all. The subjects in the exercise group saw an average arterial stiffness decrease of 15 to 20 percent. They increased their fitness levels until they were working at 70 percent of their maximum heart rate by using treadmills and cycling machines under supervision by a certified exercise trainer.
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