Curd Extra Cheese Be Gouda for You?

Credit: iStock Blood vessel function is important for staying healthy. Impaired blood vessel function can lead to an increase in blood pressure (hypertension). If left unchecked, hypertension can lead to heart disease and, ultimately, death. Pretty scary stuff.  A small increase in the diameter or radius of a blood vessel (called dilation) can lower blood … Continue reading Curd Extra Cheese Be Gouda for You?

Want to Lower Your Blood Pressure? Just Breathe (In)

Tom Heinbockel demonstrates inspiratory muscle strength training using an electronically tapered flow resistive loading device. Photo credit: Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado About half of American adults have high blood pressure. This is alarming because high blood pressure increases the risk of developing heart disease, which is the leading cause of death worldwide. Could a … Continue reading Want to Lower Your Blood Pressure? Just Breathe (In)

The Physiology of Grief

Credit: iStock Many of us have experienced the death of a loved one and the grief that inevitably accompanies it. Such loss is widely considered to be the most stressful event we will ever encounter in our lives. I have been thinking about this lately because in just a few months it will be five … Continue reading The Physiology of Grief

Exercise Recovery: Which Body Position Is Best?

Credit: iStock Picture this: It’s a hot summer day, you’ve been at sports practice all afternoon and you know your coach always has the team do conditioning at the end of practice. You and your teammates line up and start to sprint. The finish line is in sight, you are almost there! Finally, you cross … Continue reading Exercise Recovery: Which Body Position Is Best?

Small but Mighty: How Telomeres Could Control Vascular Aging

Credit: iStock As we get older, our cardiovascular system changes dramatically. Specifically, our blood vessels become stiffer and lose some of their ability to relax. This is known as endothelial dysfunction. Scientists debate and propose many theories about the specific causes of endothelial dysfunction with aging. Recently, telomeres have become a hot research topic. Telomeres … Continue reading Small but Mighty: How Telomeres Could Control Vascular Aging

Sip a Sports Drink to Keep the Electrolytes Flowing

Credit: iStock Most people know it’s important to stay hydrated (but not too much!) during an intense workout. A sports drink can be an ideal beverage choice, but do you know why? After working out for an hour or so on a hot summer day, you may begin to sweat, get muscle cramps and/or become … Continue reading Sip a Sports Drink to Keep the Electrolytes Flowing

Hot Tubs: The New Home Treadmills?

Credit: iStock Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. In fact, it has been previously predicted that by 2030, cardiovascular disease will affect more than 40% of the U.S. population. With this in mind, it seems clear that we—as a nation—need to improve our cardiometabolic health! A brief glance at health … Continue reading Hot Tubs: The New Home Treadmills?

Spotlight On: Heart Failure

Credit: iStock Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition that leads to decreased heart pumping capacity. This makes it difficult for the heart to pump enough blood to the body to meet its needs. Conditions that cause heart failure include heart disease (no, they are not the same), diabetes and high blood pressure. Those at … Continue reading Spotlight On: Heart Failure

Vitamin C Might Help Counteract Too Much Sitting

Credit: iStock If you are reading this, chances are you’re sitting down. Whether working at a desk, relaxing on the couch or commuting by car or public transit, the majority of us sit for the better part of our day. All of that sitting could have some not-so-great effects on our long-term health. We have … Continue reading Vitamin C Might Help Counteract Too Much Sitting

Can You Win an Underwater Breath-holding Competition?

Credit: iStock As kids, many of us had competitions to see how long we could hold our breath under water. It may have seemed like a simple and fun way to compete with our friends, but our bodies were actually doing amazing things to help us stay under water for longer periods of time. Humans … Continue reading Can You Win an Underwater Breath-holding Competition?