Posts Tagged stress management training
Physical activity, stress management and standard medical care combine to make the best heart healthy wellness plan. Since heart disease is a leading cause of mortality this prescription is good health promotion advice for everyone. February is National Hearth Health Month so let’s look more closely at these three components and tips for developing a heart healthy wellness routine.
In a new study, people with heart disease who along with their routine medical care worked out, or took a stress management class, fared better than those who didn’t. The results suggest “considerable benefit” from exercise and stress management training, write the researchers from Duke University. Not only did physical activity and stress management lower markers of heart disease, but they were also associated with a reduction in emotional distress. In short, their hearts became healthier, and their mental and emotional states improved.
A good continuing care retirement community should include stress management as part of their daily activities. But how will they decide what is the best exercise program? For older adults who want to stay healthy and independent, the National Institute on Health recommends balancing four key areas for a well-rounded physical fitness program:
• Endurance: builds your aerobic capacity, gives you more freedom of movement, and strengthens your heart, allowing you to stay active for longer periods of time.
• Strength: builds muscles and increases your metabolism, which helps to keep your weight and blood sugar in check as well as improves overall functional capacity. Read the rest of this entry »
People who have been diagnosed with the HIV virus now have another powerful tool they can add to their fight against the disease.
A recent study, published in this month’s edition of Brain, Behavior, and Immunology, demonstrates that participants in an eight-week mindfulness meditation course showed improvement in their CD4 T cells, the loss of which is an indicator of worsening HIV.
While the control group, who had no meditation training, lost an average of 185 T-cells, the meditation group improved their T-cell count by an average of 20.
CD4= T lymphocytes, also simply called “T cells,” are the masterminds of the immune system. HIV attacks T-cells, causing the patient’s immunity to become more and more compromised, while opportunistic diseases attack. If the T-cells become too low, the patient will eventually succumb to a secondary infection, like pneumonia.
During the study, the meditation group met for two hours every week, had a full one-day retreat near the end of the study, and received daily audio-tape meditation exercises to do at home.
Lead author David Cresswell, a researcher with the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at UCLA, posited that the effect of meditation was to reduce stress in the participants. Stress can wreak havoc on the immune system, and the authors wrote that by diminishing stress, HIV patients could strengthen their immune systems. Read the rest of this entry »