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Brief, Intense Exercise Helps Heart

High intensity exercise is best when moving the whole body.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in those who have type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Several changes in the structure and function of the left ventricle occur prior to any overt cardiac disease. A small, study of T2DM patients without overt heart disease who did not exercise were randomized to a cycling program 3 times per week or standard care. The cycling intervention got their heart rate up intermittently and significantly improved heart function and reduced fatty liver.

PositiveTip: Keep moving! It makes a difference.

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Exercise Can Protect Against a Broken Heart

As few as 5 consecutive days of exercise provides cardioprotection in lab animals.

Coronary artery disease is a major cause of death around the globe. When the arteries supplying blood to the heart muscle become blocked damage occurs. This is known as a heart attack. Fortunately, there is a simple countermeasure that is known to protect the heart--regular physical activity! Exercise-induced cardioprotection is gained in just a few weeks, and it can also be lost as rapidly. 

PositiveTip: Make 30-60 minutes of endurance exercise a part of your daily program.

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Alcohol Not So Heart Healthy

The less you drink, the healthier your heart, according to large investigative study.

It's been reported that light to moderate alcohol drinking may improve heart health. A massive multi-center study involving 155 researchers and 260,000 people may overturn that thinking. People who drank 17% less enjoyed an average 10% less risk of coronary heart disease and had lower blood pressure and BMI. Light drinkers who reduced their drinking had the best heart health.

PositiveTip: Instead of drinking alcohol, increase your exercise and plant foods intake to enjoy proven heart health benefits.

Press Release    Journal Article

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Cardiovascular Events and Cannabis Use

Dearth rate was 25% in adverse events associated with cannabis use.

A small, 5-year French study of cannabis-related reports of adverse events found an association with cardiovascular complications. The death rate was 25.6% and the average age was 34 years old. This is difficult to study because of the extreme variation in THC concentrations, the frequent use of other drugs, and the lack of strong control groups. More research is needed to determine if this association is causal.

PositiveTip: Though widely believed that cannabis use is harmless, evidence suggests it may be very risky.

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Blood Vessel Damage from Secondhand Smoke

As little as 30 minutes exposure to secondhand smoke could cause blood vessel damage.

Those who do not smoke can suffer impaired blood vessel function with as little as 30 minutes of exposure to secondhand smoke. Researchers used concentrations similar to those encountered in real-life circumstances. This study reinforces the danger smokers pose to other people, let alone their own health.

PositiveTip: Support efforts to ban smoking in all public places--and avoid inhaling some one else's smoke.

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Is Chocolate Heart-Healthy?

Observational data suggests chocolate may protect cardiovascular system.

A meta-analysis of seven observational studies with 115,000 adult participants compared the lowest level of chocolate consumption with the highest intakes. Those eating the most had nearly a one-third decrease in risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. The authors caution that most forms of chocolate contain high amounts of fat and sugar, and more esperimental research is necessary to prove causation.

PositiveTip: Think twice before you indulge in your favorite chocolates "for your hearts sake". Most forms of these products are very high in calories!