When acidic plaque clogs and narrows the arteries that feed the heart, the body typically responds by trying to increase the number of tiny blood vessels in the heart. As these so-called collateral vessels grow more muscular and interconnected, they begin to reroute some of the blood flow around the blockage.
Scientists have been trying unsuccessfully for years to nudge collateral blood vessels to develop and prosper. However, you can do it easily at home without anything more high-tech than a comfortable pair of shoes, reports the Harvard Heart Letter in its January 2008 issue.
Growing these new collateral blood vessels can significantly ease chest pain (angina), limit heart attack damage, improve survival rates, and even offer extra time for emergency therapy in the case of a heart attack. And exercise boosts these blood vessels!
Proper exercise will dramatically increase the blood flow and remove dietary and metabolic acids through the coronary arteries. The inner lining of the arteries responds to this "stress" in the same way as it does to the stress of atherosclerosis, by stimulating these collateral blood vessels to elongate, widen, and form new connections.
The Heart Letter also notes that just a little bit of exercise won't do the trick. You really need to push your heart. If you aren't used to exercising, that may mean brisk walking or swimming. Any activity that gets your heart beating faster will do as long as you keep it up for 20 to 30 minutes at a time and do it several times a week. Always start out slow and work your way up to this. Start with just 5 minutes and then 10 and so on until you reach the target of 20 to 30 minutes at a time.
Exercise removes unhealthy dietary and metabolic acids and is a great way to prevent heart disease, and a host of studies show that it can even help some people with narrowed coronary arteries to safely avoid bypass surgery or angioplasty. The Harvard Heart Letter asks: "Why not give yourself a natural bypass before you need a surgeon to perform a more painful and hazardous one?"
Couch potatoes who complain they are tired all the time have an easy solution -- low impact exercise. Regular, low-intensity workouts such as a leisurely stroll can boost energy levels by 20 percent and decrease fatigue by 65 percent, a team at the University of Georgia found.
"Too often we believe that a quick workout will leave us worn out, especially when we are already feeling fatigued," Tim Puetz, who helped conduct the study, said in a statement.
"However, we have shown that regular exercise can actually go a long way in increasing feelings of energy, particularly in sedentary individuals."
Puetz and a team led by Patrick O'Connor at the University's Exercise Psychology Laboratory studied 36 people who did not exercise regularly and who said they were always fatigued.
They were divided into three groups. One did 20 minutes of moderately intense exercise on an exercise bike three times a week for six weeks, the second did similar workouts but at a much more leisurely pace and the third did no exercise.
The low impact and moderate impact groups had a 20 percent increase in energy levels over the non-exercisers, the researchers reported in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.
To their surprise, the researchers found the low impact intensity group reported better reduction in fatigue than those who worked out harder.
"It could be that moderate impact intensity exercise is too much for people who are already fatigued and that might contribute to them not getting as great an improvement as they would had they done the low impact intensity exercise," O'Connor said in a statement.
"A lot of people are overworked and not sleeping enough," he said. "Exercise is a way for people to feel more energetic. There's a scientific basis for it and there are advantages to it compared to things like caffeine and energy drinks."
Many studies have shown that low impact exercise can boost energy, especially over time. O'Connor's team published a report in 2006 showing that exercise can reduce fatigue in patients with cancer, heart disease and other medical problems. This study looked at people whose fatigue did not seem to be associated with any medical condition.
One of the best low impact, low stress and fun forms of exercising, that exercises every cell of the body simultaneously, is called whole body vibration or rebounding. Five minutes of whole body vibrational exercising is worth over 1 hour of other forms of strenuous exercise.
To help increase blood and lymph circulation you only need to "hydrate and vibrate" (TM). Hydrate with at least 1 liter of alkaline water per 50 pounds of weight and vibrate on a rebounder for at least 10 minutes a day.
According to Dr. Robert O. Young, a research scientist at the pH Miracle Living Center, stated, "low impact intensity exercise is less stressful and will increase blood and lymphatic circulation. It is important to increase blood and lymphatic circulation in order to remove dietary and metabolic acids out of the tissues and blood through sweating
and urination. This in turn keeps the body healthy and strong."
One of the best forms of low impact intensity exercising is through whole body vibration or rebounding.
What is Rebounding
Rebounding Exercise is the therapeutic movement on a mini-trampoline. And because it moves all parts of the body at once we also call it a cellular exercise. When we think about the various fluid functions of the body, we know that the heart is the pump for the blood, but the lymphatic system (sewage system) does not have a pump. It can only be moved by physical activities.
Rebounding is the perfect activity, because it causes everything to move at once. As a cellular exercise rebounding gets the juices flowing and it also helps to remove toxins and then deliver and absorb nutrients at the cellular level where it can then be converted into energy.
As an exercise it is far superior to any other because it not only uses gravity but also two other forces, acceleration and deceleration. At the top of the bounce you experience weightlessness, and at the bottom your weight doubles pulling you into the center of the rebounder. It also is very easy on the joints and does not cause any of the injuries associated with jogging or other exercise programs.
As a therapy it is just as beneficial as massage or reflexology, since the whole body is involved and it is truly a cellular exercise.
Resistive Rebounding and National Health Trends
"…for similar levels of heart rate and oxygen consumption, the magnitude of the biomechanical stimuli is greater with jumping on a rebounder trampoline than with running, a finding that might help identify acceleration parameters needed for the design of remedial procedures to avert deconditioning in persons exposed to weightlessness."
N.A.S.A., Journal of Applied Physiology 49(5): 881-887
"Exercise can be helpful in building and maintaining strong bones. Exercise that forces you to work against gravity – so called weight bearing exercises such as walking or jogging [and rebounding] are beneficial ...If you are at risk for osteoporosis, your doctor will most likely include exercise as part of your overall treatment program."
National Osteoporosis Foundation, www.nof.org
"The mini trampoline [rebounder] provides a convenient form of exercise with a major advantage being its apparent low level of trauma to the musculoskeletal system."
Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, 1990: 10; 401-408
"This month alone, over 1 million Americans will join a health club. Only after 2 months time, approximately 75% won't return again during their memberships."
CNN, 2003 Trends Report: Key Findings
"In 1997, 43% of Americans say they made an effort to get regular physical activity/exercise."
American Dietetic Association, 1997 Trends Survey: Key Findings
This year, 2003: "Americans are eating per portion, on average:
93 more calories from salty snacks, such as potato chips,
pretzels and pop corn.49 more calories from soft drinks.
97 more calories from hamburgers.
68 more calories from French fries.
133 more calories from Mexican food, such as burritos, tacos, enchiladas.
"The most surprising result is the large portion-size increases for food consumed at home -- a shift that indicates marked changes in eating behavior in general," the researchers reported. Amy Cox CNN
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