Exercise on doctors orders!



Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Dr. Prabir Bhattacharya and his computers might. He and Concordia graduate student Abu Sayeed Sohail are developing a computer image processing system that detects and classifies human facial expressions. The aim of this system is to take and analyze photos of individuals, potentially in areas

Full Post: New image processing system detects and classifies human facial expressions

Researchers in New Zealand say though exercise is known to be one of the essential components which improve and enhance the quality of life, it is unfortunately underused.

A new study by researchers from the University of Otago says physical exercise is a valuable tool for effectively improving the quality of life with regard to functional ability and also generates feelings of wellbeing, but is under-employed. According to the researchers deaths from heart disease, lung problems and cancer are reduced by almost 30% if exercise is part of a person’s daily regimen.

Dr. Beverly A. Lawton and colleagues examined 1,089 less active women over a two year period who were placed on an ‘exercise on prescription’ program called ‘the green prescription’. The women age 40 to 74 years were recruited from 17 primary care practices and then randomly placed in intervention and control groups.

The intervention program group had the benefits of counselling, medical monitoring and telephone support for motivation over a nine month period with a gradual increase in the intensity and duration of the fitness plan - their weight, blood pressure and physical fitness were also regularly checked.

Initially the researchers found that only 10% of the intervention group participants and 11% of the control group participants were meeting the goal of 150 minutes of weekly exercise.

Over a period of two years, both groups increased their physical activity but the intervention group demonstrated a significant edge over the control group - the work-out plans for both groups increased to 39.3% and 32.8% respectively but the intervention group demonstrated considerable improvement in both mental and physical health.

The researchers found that women who were part of an activity prescription program were significantly more likely to get in 150 hours of exercise a week and maintain that over two years than women who didn’t participate in a program

However blood pressure, weight and cholesterol level revealed no drastic changes and unexpectedly, more injuries and falls were found in the intervention group.

The researchers say programs of exercise on prescription can produce sustained increases in physical activity among less active middle-age and older women over two years and increases in physical activity amongst the general population could have important public health benefits.

The researchers say rather than prescribing exercise to prevent diseases, health care providers should emphasize physical activity as a means to enhance the quality of life, which in the long term, might ultimately help prevent disease.

Dr. Lawton says as most patients trust their doctor, exercise on prescription may well be the way to move population exercise trends in a positive direction.

The research is published in the British Medical Journal.

Link




A home-based program to improve exercise and diet led to significant, clinically meaningful improvement in body weight and physical function among older long-term cancer survivors in preliminary findings from the RENEW (Reach-out to ENhancE Wellness) trial, according to Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, Ph.D., from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center’s Department of Behavioral Science.

Full Post: Home-based program to improve exercise and diet improves senior cancer survivors’ physical function



Several studies had previously suggested that regular physical exercise reduces the breast cancer risk of women. However, it had been unknowned just how much exercise women should take in which period in life in order to benefit from this protective effect. Moreover, little was known about which particular type of breast cancer is influenced by

Full Post: Exercise after menopause lowers breast cancer risk



Canadian scientists have a plan in the pipeline to explore just why exercise is so beneficial to the body. A team at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) aim to unravel some of the mysteries about the effect physical activity has on the body with the aim of improving the health and quality of

Full Post: Scientists on a quest to find the right prescription for exercise



Patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which can include symptoms such as pain in the legs, who participated in supervised treadmill exercise improved their walking endurance and quality of life, according to a study in the January 14 issue of JAMA. The treadmill exercise also improved walking performance for PAD patients without the classic symptoms

Full Post: Treadmill exercise improves walking endurance for patients with PAD



More than 20 million Americans are living with diabetes, and that number is expected to increase by more than 5 million by 2010. One complication related to diabetes, Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy, (DM+PN), can cause individuals to develop foot ulcers and, in extreme cases, amputation might be necessary. Previously, doctors and scientists have recommended that individuals

Full Post: Diabetics with previous foot ulcers may be able to participate in walking program