Tuesday August 20, 2019

Suffering From Low Blood Pressure? Do an Hour or More of Daily Exercise

Exercise regimens during space flight, followed by saline injections after landing, were sufficient to prevent the condition from occurring

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The study is the first to examine the condition called "orthostatic intolerance" during daily activities when the astronauts returned home. Pixabay

Suffering from low blood pressure? Do an hour or more of daily exercise and stay hydrated to improve the condition and control fainting or dizziness episodes, finds a NASA-funded study on astronauts.

The study is the first to examine the condition called “orthostatic intolerance” during daily activities when the astronauts returned home.

The researchers found that exercise regimens during space flight, followed by saline injections after landing, were sufficient to prevent the condition from occurring.

“Doing an hour or more of daily exercise was sufficient to prevent loss of heart muscle, and when it was combined with receiving hydration on their return, the condition was prevented entirely. We expected to see up to two-thirds of the space crew faint. Instead, no one fainted,” said cardiologist Dr Benjamin Levine from UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Blood Pressure, Daily, Exercise
Suffering from low blood pressure? Do an hour or more of daily exercise and stay hydrated to improve the condition and control fainting or dizziness episodes. Pixabay

A similar condition is also diagnosed in patients as Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), which is predominantly found in women. The dizziness that it causes is life-changing and can be debilitating.

Dr Levine has helped one Dallas patient return to a normal life.

For the study, published in the journal Circulation, the researchers used a small blood pressure cuff on astronauts’ finger to measure blood pressure and every heartbeat.

These measurements were taken during multiple 24-hour periods before, during, and after six months of spaceflight. Twelve astronauts were involved — eight men and four women.

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This treatment is just one of the ways medicine, heart research, and space travel have connected throughout Dr Levine’s work. The successful moon landing in 1969 was an early influence on his career.

The early interest led Dr Levine into space research within the field of cardiology, and he began working with the space shuttle programme in 1991.

“We put a catheter in an astronaut’s heart — it was former UT Southwestern faculty member Dr Drew Gaffney — and sent him into space. It was probably the most expensive right-heart catheterization ever,” Dr Levine reminisced.

“Much of our early research was devoted to understanding why astronauts faint when they return from space. Now, we can prevent it from happening”. (IANS)

Next Story

Exercise More for Better Fitness After Retirement: Study

While retirement can free up time, deteriorating health and wellbeing often become a new barrier. That is why it is so important to maintain fitness in the lead up to retirement

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Exercising regularly can keep your brain healthy. VOA

Middle-aged people over 55 years of age in particular should be doing more to keep fit as they approach retirement age because of the physical, mental and social benefits of being active, says a study.

“Adults are spending more years of their life working than ever before. Retiring is a life-changing event which provides all sorts of opportunities – but it coincides with declining physical activity, health and wellbeing,” said the study’s lead author Charlotte Salter from the University of East Anglia in England.

“From the age of around 55, people begin thinking about retirement and making plans for their future,” Salter said.

For the study, researchers worked to gather insight about the relationship between retirement and physical activity.

More than 1,000 over-55s took part in an online ‘Physical Activity and Retirement Transitions’ survey about their physical activity levels and expectations and experiences of retirement.

The research team also held focus groups and interviews with people at retirement age about staying physically active.

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Evening exercise increases whole-body energy expenditure for an extended period of time. Pixabay

“In order to enjoy a fit and healthy retirement, a really key thing is that people need to maintain their physical fitness through their fifties and beyond.

“But we found that there are many barriers to this – from poor health, lack of motivation and the cost and availability of sports, activities and fitness classes, to not having enough time – due to work or in many cases because of caring responsibilities,” Salter added.

The report showed how employers and healthcare providers could do more to promote physical fitness to people over 55. And that sports centres and community fitness projects could also play more of a part in encouraging healthy ageing.

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While retirement can free up time, deteriorating health and wellbeing often become a new barrier. That is why it is so important to maintain fitness in the lead up to retirement.

“There is no one-size-fits all approach. But we found that activity that is combined with socialising, or other purposeful actions such as dog walking, gardening, housework, childcare or volunteering, were all good ways for over-55s to remain active,” she added. (IANS)