Posts Tagged ‘exercise guidelines’

Takeaways from the Sports Cardiology: Heart Health & Being Active Live Chat

sports-cardio-emailThanks to everyone who joined us Tuesday, January 26, for our live online chat on “Sports Cardiology: Heart Healthy & Being Active” hosted by Emory sports cardiologist, Jonathan H. Kim, MD, and sports medicine physician, Neeru Jayanthi, MD.

We were thrilled with the number of people who registered and were able to participate in the chat. The response was so great that we had a few questions we were not able to answer so we have answered them below for your reference.

Question: How much exercise is safe if I have been diagnosed with a heart condition?

  • Answer from Dr. Kim: Discussing the appropriate “exercise prescription” for patients with heart conditions is one of the key elements of sports cardiology. Each “prescription” is patient specific and accounts for key elements in the patient’s history, cardiac condition, and results of cardiac testing. It is important to emphasize that, one, cardiac testing obtained is unique to each patient and their condition. Most testing will include, however, an EKG, imaging of the heart (echocardiogram), and functional exercise testing. Two, the “prescription” also takes into account the sports cardiologist and patient’s discussion weighing the risks vs. benefits of ongoing exercise and other key personal psychological aspects individual to each athletic patient. Thus, this is a very individualized discussion per athlete and per condition.

Question: Are energy drinks before you workout bad for your heart?

  • Answer from Dr. Kim: In general, high-energy drinks with caffeine carry the potential side effects related to caffeine. Many of these side effects are cardiovascular in nature (blood pressure and heart rhythm effects). In my practice, I generally discourage long-term use/ingestion of these high-energy beverages with caffeine if possible.

One of the questions from the live chat was too good not to share. See below:

Question: My 10 year old son wants to start playing football, but I’m concerned about the stories I see on the news about kids dropping dead on the field. His father’s family has a long history of heart disease. Does he need a heart screening before I let him play? Can his pediatrician screen him or should I bring him to a cardiologist/sports cardiologist?

  • Answer from Dr. Jayanthi: While it is devastating to hear these stories of sudden cardiac death during sports in children, fortunately these are exceedingly rare. It is very important to have an established relationship with your pediatrician or family physician to identify any risk factors prior to sports participation. If there are few risk factors and the appropriate heart screening questions and physical exam are done, there may not be any further need for evaluation.

However, if there are certain conditions in the family history, they may require referral to sports cardiology, such as sudden cardiac death and other conditions. We still do not have universal recommendations about getting EKG or echocardiograms prior to participation.

  • Answer from Dr. Kim: I agree with Dr. Jayanthi’s comments. In addition, it is critical to emphasize that many of the heart conditions that cause sudden cardiac death evolve unpredictably as we age. Therefore screening with heart tests in a 10 year old may not demonstrate evidence of a heart problem; however, that same 10 year old may actually have the genes for one of these heart diseases that cause sudden cardiac death. Therefore, as mentioned, the most important thing is to simply review family history questions, do an appropriate physical exam, and make sure there are no concerning clinical symptoms present in a young athlete screened prior to sports competition. The guidelines definitely recommend that any young athlete, regardless of age, should be screened by a physician with a detailed history and physical, only.

If you missed out on this live chat, be sure to check out the full list of questions and answers on the chat transcript. You can also visit Emory Sports Cardiology and Emory Sports Medicine Center for more information.

Also, if you have additional questions for Dr. Kim or Dr. Jayanthi, please feel free to leave a comment in our comments area below.

The Right Amount of Exercise: New Studies Reveal Ideal Frequency and Intensity

Exercise GuidelinesEat your vegetables, get a good night’s sleep, and exercise regularly. These are a few of the principles most of us are familiar with when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. But how much exercise should you really get, and what level of exercise is needed to make a difference? Is there such a thing as too much exercise?

Recently, two new studies, both published in JAMA Internal Medicine, answer common questions about the ideal frequency and intensity of exercise a person should get each week.

What are the current exercise guidelines?

Currently, health experts and the government recommend that a person should exercise moderately for 150 minutes per week to develop and maintain proper health and fitness.

What did the new studies find?

During the first study, researchers from the National Cancer Institute, Harvard University and other institutions collected significant data on nearly 661,000 adults’ exercise habits. They divided the participants into various categories based on their personal exercise habits, ranging from adults who did not exercise at all to others who exercised more than 10 times the recommended amount, or around 25 hours per week. Researchers then compared 14 years’ worth of death records from each group, concluding that:

  • Individuals who did not exercise at all had the highest risk of premature death.
  • For those who did not meet exercise recommendations, but did some sort of exercise weekly: 20% reduction in premature death risk.
  • For those who did the recommended 150 minutes per week of exercise: 31% reduction in premature death risk and increased longevity benefits.
  • For those who tripled the recommended level of exercise by working out moderately—mostly walking—for 450 minutes per week, or slightly more than one hour per day: 39% reduction in premature death risk.

Adults who exercised nearly 10 times the recommended amount per day saw around the same reduction in premature death risk as adults who met the recommended guidelines.

While previous studies have suggested that adults who exercise too frequently have an increased probability of dying young, this study did not yield the same conclusion.

In the second study, researchers from Australia recorded data from 200,000 adults to determine how much time each participant spent exercising and how much of that exercise was considered vigorous, or intense. Similar to the first study, the researchers then compared individuals’ death statistics.

The study found that adults who met recommended exercise guidelines significantly reduced their risk of early death, which supports the first study’s findings. Researchers also found that people who exercised vigorously on occasion saw a small reduction in death risk.

  • Individuals who spent up to 30% of their weekly exercise time in vigorous activities were 9% less likely to die early than those who exercised the same amount at a moderate level.
  • Individuals who spent more than 30% of their exercise time doing vigorous exercise had about a 13% reduction in premature mortality.

The study did not find any jump in mortality risk for those individuals completing the most strenuous exercise.

What are the main takeaways?

The two new studies found that: to decrease early death risk and prolong life span, every person should attempt to exercise for the recommended guidelines of 150 minutes per week and have about a fifth of that weekly exercise be intense (30 minutes). Those individuals who wish to exercise vigorously for a longer period of time should feel free to do so without the fear of increasing mortality risk.

About the Emory Sports Medicine Center

From professional athletes to those who enjoy active lifestyles, the sports medicine experts at Emory Sports Medicine Center want to make sure you have the proper information to achieve the best possible outcomes. Our full service clinic offers a full range of treatment for orthopaedic conditions and injuries including sports medicine, foot and ankle, joint replacement, shoulder, knee and hip, spinal care, and concussions. It also offers x-ray, physical therapy and rehabilitation services.

Emory Orthopaedics has locations in Johns Creek, Atlanta, Tucker and Dunwoody. All physicians bring extensive training and experience to the clinic. Click for complete information about all Emory Orthopaedics, Sports and Spine physicians and locations.

Appointments for surgical second opinions or acute sports injuries are available within 48 hours at 404-778-3350.

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