Carrying a “spare tyre” around the waist triples risk of heart attack

A study has found that people who are not overweight but store most of their fat around their waist are three times more likely to die from heart disease or a stroke.

The Doctors from the Mayo Clinic in the US examined the health of 12,875 people over a 14-year average.

They recorded patients’ body mass index (BMI) as well as their waist-to-hip ratio, which signified how much weight they stored on their belly.

During the length of the study, 2562 patients died, including 1138 as a result of a cardiovascular problem, such as heart disease or stroke.

The findings suggest that people with a normal BMI but a high waist-to-hip ratio were 2.75 times more likely to die from a cardiovascular condition than people who were normal on both scales. Even people who were clinically obese and had a high proportion of fat stored around their middle had only 2.34 times the risk of dying from heart disease or stroke compared with the healthiest group.

Prof Peter Weissberg, the medical director of the British Heart Foundation, agreed with the findings and said that waist-to-hip measurement was a “stronger indicator” of cardiovascular risk than BMI.

Individuals with a high waist-to-hip ration should offset their risk by exercising more and sticking to a healthy diet.

Full article here

Exercising in mid-life protects the heart

Researchers have found exercise during your 40s and 50s can help protect your heart – even if you wait until your 40s to start exercising.

According to a report published in the American Heart Association’s Journal on Circulation individuals who did the recommended 2.5 hours of exercise a week had lower levels of inflammatory markers in their blood.

Inflammatory markers are important, say experts, because high levels have been linked to increased heart risk.

Individuals reporting to have stuck to the recommended amount of exercise throughout out 10-year study had the lowest inflammatory levels overall.

Even those who said they only took up the recommended amount of exercise when they in their 40s had lower levels of inflammation than people under-exceeding recommendations for exercise.

Dr Mark Hamer, of University College London, who led the research, said:

“We should be encouraging more people to get active – you can gain health benefits from moderate activity at any time in your life.

“This research highlights the positive impact changing your exercise habits can have on the future of your heart health – and that it’s never too late to re-energise your life.

“However it’s important not to wait until you retire to get off the couch, as being active for life is a great way to keep your heart healthy.”

Read the full story here

Screen-time hampers children’s motor skill development

Children’s exercise levels are not enough to counteract their couch potato lifestyles according to research published in the American Journal of Human Biology.

Kids who spend the majority of their time watching TV or sat at computers have up to nine times poorer motor skills that than their more active friends.

The study led by Dr Luis Lopes from the University of Minho, Portugal stated that:

“Childhood is the critical time for the development of motor coordination skills which are essential for health and wellbeing.

Sedentary lifestyles are associated with decreased fitness, lower self-esteem, decreased academic achievement and increased obesity.”

Dr Lopes’ team studied 110 girls and 103 boys aged nine to ten from 13 urban elementary schools.

Motor coordination was evaluated with tests which included: balance, jumping laterally, hopping on one leg over an obstacle and shifting platforms.

It was found that high sedentary behaviour had a significant impact on the children’s motor coordination, with boys being more adversely affected than girls.

Read the full story here

Don’t miss out – just five weeks to go until the REPs National Convention!

Programme for Day 1 of the REPs National Convention

Programme for Day 2 of the REPs National Convention

Programme for Day 3 of REPs National Convention

Places are going quickly at the REPs National Convention, from 18th to 20th September in Birmingham.

Coinciding with Leisure Industry Week the three-day event boasts top keynote speakers (including weight-loss guru Pete Cohen, Tim Fearon from The Extraordinary Coaching Company, and Bob Laventure from Later Life Training) and a great choice of interactive workshops and sessions for delegates to pick – see above for full-programme details.

Delegates can choose to attend for just one day, or for all three days. Click here for full booking information and prices

Get reading with August’s offer of the month….

Each month staff at the SkillsActive Shop choose a book of the month – and offer REPs members a special discount on it.

August’s featured read is the Complete Guide to Exercise series – each book in the series provides a sound theoretical base together with ready-made training programmes that can be fitted into a wider overall programme. Up-to-date and fully-illustrated, these titles are essential reading for trainers, coaches and anyone who takes physical fitness seriously.

For August only, SkillsActive is offering a 15 per cent discount on any book in the series! 

Don’t miss out on this fantastic offer – just type CompleteGuide15 at checkout to claim your 15 per cent discount! Click here to shop now

Remember – everything you spend with SkillsActive is reinvested into the industry!

Weight-training reduces diabetes risk

Weight-training can help prevent type 2 diabetes in men, according to a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine Journal.

Researchers found regular weight-training reduced the risk by up to a third, in the study of more than 32,000 men.

It is already well-known that regular exercise can prevent the disease. But the report is considered important as weight-training could provide an alternative to aerobic exercise for people who have mobility issues.

Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health in the US and the University of Southern Denmark followed the men over an 18-year period, during which time nearly 2,300 developed the condition.

They found 30 minutes of weight-training a day, five times a week could reduce the risk of diabetes by 34%.

But they also reported that even less regular exercise – up to an hour a week – had an impact, cutting the risk by 12%.

Nonetheless, aerobic exercise was still found to be slightly better with regular activity halving the risk.

The two combined had the greatest effect, reducing it by up to 59%, the study found.

Lead author Anders Grontved said: “Many people have difficulty engaging in or adhering to aerobic exericse.

“These new results suggest that weight-training, to a large extent, can serve as an alternative.”

Have your say in the UK Working in Fitness Survey 2012

Calling all REPs members

Follow this link to complete the survey NOW

‘‘The results are only as good as the people taking part’’ Jean-Ann Marnoch, REPs Registrar.

Now is your chance to have your say in the REPs UK Working in Fitness Survey 2012 – the most comprehensive guide to the working practices in the industry.

We need as many REPs members and employers (plus anyone else working in the industry) to take part.

The survey will run August – September and closes on Friday 5th October. A full survey report will be published including comparisons of salary levels, job satisfaction and spending on training and development.


Every respondent will automatically be entered into the FREE prize draw to win a Polar FT80 Heart Rate Monitor (worth £200) by filling in their email details at the end of the survey.

The survey is easy to complete so follow this link to begin now.

All responses will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Click here to view previous reports.

Prize draw terms and conditions
1. The closing date for entry is Friday 5th October 2012.
2. The email address supplied will only be used to contact the winner.
3. The winner of the prize draw will be randomly drawn on 8th October and the winner will be notified by email within six weeks.
4. Permission will be sought from the winner to have their name published in marketing material in October 2012.
5. There is no cash alternative.


REPs in the news

REPs Registrar Jean-Ann Marnoch’s tips for healthier bones

As part of its on-going public awareness campaign REPs has been working with consumer publications and websites to encourage members of the public to only workout with REPs registered instructors.

In this month’s Sainsbury’s magazine REPs Registrar Jean-Ann Marnoch shares tips for good bone health. She also advised readers at how to get a body like Olympic champion Jessica Ennis.

Yoga can help stroke patients recover balance

Results of a recent study suggest performing yoga regularly can help people who have had a stroke regain their balance, stop them falling over and maintain their independence.

Researchers at the University of Indiana in the United States found stroke victims who took part in an eight-week yoga course went on to display better balance than those who had not. They also reported feeling more able in their lives as a whole.

The study examined results in 47 people who had suffered a stroke at least six months before the trial commenced.

Strokes often cause partial paralysis down one side of the body, and patients tend to be offered short-term rehabilitation to help them walk again and regain other physical functions.

However, longer-term rehabilitation is rare, both because it is costly and due to the assumption that there is a limited period of time for the brain to ‘rewire’ itself after a stroke. In Britain, for example, few receive rehabilitation for longer than 12 months after the event.

Therefore researchers conducting this study wanted to examine the effects of yoga classes on those who had suffered a stroke some time ago.

They randomly assigned participants, all of whom could stand unaided, to one of three groups – two yoga groups and one who received usual care. The oldest participant was 90.

Those in the yoga groups took part in classes that gradually got more difficult.

Tests found people in the yoga groups had better balance, less fear of falling, were more independent and happier with their lives than those who did not do yoga.

To read more visit: The Daily Telegraph

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: