Health Notes: Exercise reduces heart attack risk in men, improves sleep quality for everybody - SNEWS

Health Notes: Exercise reduces heart attack risk in men, improves sleep quality for everybody

In SNEWS® Health Notes, an occasional series, we take a look at recent health research that might be pertinent to your business. In this report, SNEWS takes a look at two studies, one which concludes men who vigorously exercise for three hours weekly are less likely to suffer heart problems, and another that finds exercise helps people sleep better.

You want information about health, physical activity, exercise and wellness, but you don’t want all the techno-science garble that makes most reports overwhelming to read, let alone understand or pass on to customers. In SNEWS® Health Notes, an occasional series, we take a look at recent research that is pertinent to your business and explain it in a way that makes sense. If you have suggestions or comments, let us know by emailing

>>Men who exercise vigorously for three hours a week less likely to suffer heart attack

A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that three hours of vigorous exercise per week decreased a man’s risk for a heart attack by 22 percent. Results were recently published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal.

According to the study, which included 1,239 men in the follow-up study who provided information on their weekly amount of exercise between 1994 and 2004. Of these, 412 men who had heart problems were compared to a control group of 827 men without heart problems.

The researchers found that the men who exercised had a decreased risk of heart attack because of the positive effect the exercise had on the individual’s cholesterol.

"As expected, traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors were more common among cases than controls," study author Andrea Chomistek said in a journal news release. "Men who suffered a nonfatal heart attack or died from coronary heart disease had less 'good' cholesterol (HDL), more 'bad' (LDL) cholesterol and were more likely to have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes."

So what? Bottom line: Men who vigorously exercise three hours a week are less likely to get a heart attack than men who don’t get this much exercise. This is a good fact to share with your health conscious male customers – especially those aging baby boomers who might be thinking more about this type of health risk.

For the scientifically minded: Abstract (for free) can be found here. Find the full article (for a fee) here.

>>Exercise to sleep better

Results from a study, recently published in the Mental Health and Physical Activity journal, shows that adults who get 150 or more minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a week slept better at night and felt more energetic during the day.

The study included 2,600 men and women between the ages of 18-85 who followed the national guideline of 150 minutes of exercise per week. The study concluded that following the guideline led to a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality and more energy during the day.

"We were using the physical activity guidelines set forth for cardiovascular health, but it appears that those guidelines might have a spillover effect to other areas of health," said Brad Cardinal, a professor of exercise science at Oregon State University and one of the study's authors. "Physical activity may not just be good for the waistline and heart, but it also can help you sleep.”

So what? Are your customers still not convinced to buy that new piece of equipment? Tell them it might just help them sleep better and feel more energized – some of them may be part of the 30 to 45 percent of Americans who have problems falling asleep at night and feeling energetic during the day.

For the scientifically minded: A free abstract can be found here. Get the full article (for a fee) here.