Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Exercise 5 times a day....

"Exercise 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes", said the researcher presenting the paper. "If you lose 10% of your body weight... you will reduce the cardiovascular risk factors". Easier said then done. During every medical conference on Diabetes, Hypertension and Heart Disease, the same sentences are repeated over and over again. But does anyone really know what it means to "exercise 5 times a week, at least 30 minutes each session"? Most of those patients hardly could walk two flights of stairs without 'huffing and puffing' and are at the risk of having a cardiac event (or heart attack) if they exercised more than a brisk walk.

We need to look at the guidelines for safe participation of such patients with coronary arterial disease or metabolic syndrome given by the American College of Sports Medicine. Such patients probably need to be adequately assessed physically before embarking on such vigourous exercise. They would probably benefit from a heart rate monitor and learn how to gauge the difficulty level of physical activity with Perceived Exertion (Borg's scale). We would also need to look into the type of medication that they are taking to ensure that they prepare for possible complications like hypoglycaemia and fractures from falls for elderly patients.

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