Exercise for Joint Health

Joint-friendly exercises offer you the benefits of physical activity while keeping your body safe from impact. What’s not to love?

Maintaining an exercise regime provides conditioning for your body and tones and strengthens your muscles. It can improve your balance and add strength to enhance quality of life and experience superior joint function.

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Ask The Nurse: The Risks of Skipping Cardio Rehab Therapy

cardio rehab therapy

Dear Nurse Chris: After a heart attack two years ago, I took all the medicines my physician asked, but he also wanted me to commit to a long period of rehab. It seemed way too strenuous for me, and I was scared it might cause another attack so I didn’t go. I am 56 now. Was I right or wrong to skip the rehab?  Emily in Grayslake

Dear Emily: You took a big risk, and be sure to check with your cardiologist about this. Here’s what one study says: People who get all 36 sessions of cardiac rehabilitation that most Medicare plans cover are less likely to die or suffer a heart attack in the next three to four years than people who have fewer sessions.

You’re younger than that group, but if your insurance covers it, make use of the treatment.

If anyone pays attention, which they should, this research could encourage heart patients who don't follow doctors' orders to heed their advice. Only about one-fifth of heart patients even try rehab. Of those who do, few get all the sessions that are recommended. The new study is one of the first big efforts to look at how survival is affected by the "dose" of rehab that heart patients get. Researchers saw a clear trend in this 65-and-older group.
"What this study shows in a very convincing manner is that the more sessions a cardiac patient goes to, the better off they are," Dr. Stanley Hazen, preventive cardiology and rehabilitation chief at the Cleveland Clinic, told the Associated Press.

Say "rehab" and many people envision weak heart patients being pushed to run on a treadmill. Exercise is crucial, but it can be just a brisk walk or swimming or a stationary bike. That's important. Find something you enjoy and are willing to do.

More than three years later, 18 percent of those who attended fewer than 12 cardiac rehab sessions had died versus 11 percent of those who went to all 36 sessions. After taking into account age and other differences in these groups of patients, that works out to a 47 percent reduction in the risk of death for those attending 36 sessions. Heart attacks also were less common in that group.

There was a strong trend: as the number of classes went up, the risk of having a heart attack or dying in the next few years went down.

5 Tips for Walking Your Way to Better Health

Spring is just around the corner, and after the long winter months most of us are ready for sunnier days and more time spent outdoors.  Even if you've been following an indoor exercise regimen or participating in winter sports, there's just something special about that first springtime walk—lacing up your shoes, heading out the door and pausing to inhale a deep breath of fresh air, fragrant with the promise of blooming plants and flowers.  Here are a few tips for getting the most out of your walking routine:

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Ergonomic Exercises Help Ease Workday Strain

Sitting at a desk much of the day, working on a computer, can place demands on the muscles of your body that cause pain and discomfort.  By observing a few simple exercises, you can minimize those issues and improve the quality of your workday.

As with any type of close work, using a monitor can place some serious demands on your eyes.

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Tai Chi for Fitness and Mental Clarity

Right now is a good time to focus on ongoing fitness practices that can help to keep us healthy all year long.  One daily practice you may want to consider is Tai Chi.

Tai Chi is a series of physical postures, or "forms", which are linked slowly and precisely by meditative movement.  It originated in China more than 1,000 years ago and is considered a martial art that is practiced primarily for its health benefits, including reduction of tension and stress.

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