May in Focus
KEEP YOUR HEART HEALTHY
National Heart Week - May 5-11
In Australia, almost 10,000 Australians die of a heart attack every year. That’s one Australian life claimed every 53 minutes. During Heart Week 2013, the Heart Foundation wants to help improve the heart health of all Australians, by making sure you know the signs of a heart attack. There is a great factsheet available to help you to recognise the signs of a heart attack.
Keep your heart healthy!
Regular physical activity leads to a 50% reduction in the incidence of high blood pressure, and reduces the risk of heart disease by 40%.
Aerobic and resistance training are safe for people with stable coronary heart disease, as long as they are assessed. An accredited exercise physiologist can create a suitable exercise program for you. In clinically stable people with coronary heart disease who are responding to treatment, the benefits of physical activity far outweigh the risks.
What types of exercise are recommended for someone with coronary heart disease?
Remember, if you have heart disease see your doctor and an Accredited Exercise Physiologist before starting an exercise program
Aerobic or ‘cardio’ exercise improves the body’s ability to use oxygen to produce energy for movement. Aerobic exercise improves cardio respiratory endurance (the ability to exercise for a long time). Exercise recommendations include:
- Duration: 20–30 minutes (preferably 45–60 min) of moderate-intensity exercise, such as vigorous walking (6); exercise may be done in shorter sessions of 10 minutes and accumulated throughout the day (6); and
- Frequency: three days each week (preferably 6–7 days each week) (5)
Resistance (strength) training:
After a cardiac event (e.g. heart attack), people should perform at least two weeks of aerobic training before starting resistance training. After coronary artery bypass graft surgery, people should avoid exercises that cause tension or pressure on the breastbone for two to three months. People need to be taught the correct technique for, and the importance of, regular breathing when performing resistance exercise.
Resistance training recommendations:
- Intensity: Maximum intensity of 30–50% of one-repetition maximum (weight that can be lifted only once), and the intensity should not exceed the weight that can be lifted for 12–15 repetitions using correct technique.
- Frequency: 2–3 days per week and include one set of 8–10 exercises targeting all major muscle groups.
See the Exercise is Medicine factsheets for more information.
Also in May
This month, EIM Australia will celebrate its 2nd birthday! We’ve seen amazing growth since our launch in 2010 as we continue to lobby for widespread recognition of the essential role of physical activity and exercise in chronic disease prevention and management.
The EIM Australia team would like to take this opportunity to thank our supporters, and invite you to continue to engage with the program and advocate for physical activity. We are always happy to receive feedback and suggestions for future focus areas so please continue to send them through.
This May we will be aiming to reach 1,000 likes on Facebook so if you haven’t liked us already, please do so!
Recently developed online resources include:
- EIM Physical Activity in the Workplace: A Guide
- NEW Factsheet: Exercise for Alzheimers disease
- Accredited Exercise Physiologists: EIM Action Guide
- Health Care Providers: EIM Action Guide
- What to expect when you visit an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (patient information)
- How an AEP can help your patient (information for GPs & Practice Nurses)
The EIM Physical Activity Calendar of Events (PACE) is developing everyday with more and more events being added regulary. The first of its kind in Australia, this calendar provides a one-stop address for locating physical activity events around the country such as fun runs/walks, triathlons and 24-hour challenges. Use this calendar to find out what events are happening in your state and to motivate you (or a patient) to stay active.
The Interactive Adult Pre-Exercise Screening System (APSS) Tool is now active online allowing both general practitioners and the public to take a simple multi-choice test to see if they are safe to start an exercise program.