Putting Out Fires Hurts Firefighters’ Hearts

As the temperature outside rises, our bodies make adjustments to keep our internal temperature constant to prevent us from overheating through a process called thermoregulation. This includes bodily functions such as sweating and widening of the blood vessels (vasodilation). When we sweat, perspiration evaporates from our skin to cool us down. When the blood vessels under … Continue reading Putting Out Fires Hurts Firefighters’ Hearts

When’s the Best Time to Eat? Your Body Clock Knows

  The American Heart Association recently released a statement suggesting that when and how often you eat could affect your risk for developing heart disease and stroke. Until now, the focus on diet has been primarily about how much and what you eat. This news—that the time of day you eat may also be important—could … Continue reading When’s the Best Time to Eat? Your Body Clock Knows

Go Ahead, Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve!

In medieval times, a jousting knight would wear the colors of the lady he was courting tied around his arm. Hence, the phrase “Wear your heart on your sleeve” was born. Today, we use this romantic phrase to describe someone who expresses their emotions openly. How applicable that ancient phrase really is to maintaining a … Continue reading Go Ahead, Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve!

Bring on Winter! (But Stay Safe and Healthy)

  Winter officially begins next week with the winter solstice—the day of the year with the fewest hours of sunlight—on Dec. 21. With the cold weather and shorter days, you might be tempted to curl up under a blanket until the spring thaw. Whether you plan to hibernate or get outside to enjoy the chill, … Continue reading Bring on Winter! (But Stay Safe and Healthy)

Can Alcohol Cause Irregular Heartbeat?

Credit: iStock Alcohol and heart health have a complicated relationship. Recent research suggests that moderate drinking may reduce your risk of stroke. But for some people, even one or two drinks a day may increase the risk of a form of heart disease called atrial fibrillation (AFib). AFib is an irregular heartbeat of the two … Continue reading Can Alcohol Cause Irregular Heartbeat?

Looking for a New Physical Challenge? Try a Mountain Ultra-Marathon

Of all the extreme endurance races out there—such as the Ironman triathlon or 50- or 100-mile marathons—the Tor des Géants ultra-mountain marathon may be the most extreme. The course is 205 miles long on the rugged terrain of the Italian Alps with a cumulative elevation gain of 24,000 feet. Participants have 150 hours, little more … Continue reading Looking for a New Physical Challenge? Try a Mountain Ultra-Marathon

The Anti-Aging Cure May Be in Your Medicine Cabinet

Rapamycin, a drug used to prevent organ transplant rejection, may also turn back time—in dogs at least. A study is underway to see if rapamycin can delay aging in dogs, and the puppy-like energy of one canine participant, eight-year-old Bela, gives some hope that the drug might work. Rapamycin is one of several drugs prescribed … Continue reading The Anti-Aging Cure May Be in Your Medicine Cabinet

Don’t Be Cold-Hearted: Understand and Protect Yourself from the Cardiovascular Risks of Cold Weather

Winter storms, like those that hit the East Coast in January, are often followed by sad reports of deaths from heart attacks related to winter weather. These reports often seem to be isolated incidents, but emerging evidence reveals a clear association between winter temperatures and heart attacks, particularly severe heart attacks. Recent research demonstrated that … Continue reading Don’t Be Cold-Hearted: Understand and Protect Yourself from the Cardiovascular Risks of Cold Weather

Does Exercising in Warm Weather Make You Fitter for Cooler Temperature?

Those who are active year-round know that summer workouts are more tiring than those done in cooler weather. The good news is that it’s not a sign that you’re suddenly out of shape. Exercising in warm temperatures is not the same as exercising in cooler temperatures and the body’s physiology has to adjust. How does … Continue reading Does Exercising in Warm Weather Make You Fitter for Cooler Temperature?

Get a Grip: What Grip Strength Can Tell Us about the Cardiovascular System

Most of us grab hold of something every day—the steering wheel of a car, the handle of a heavy shopping bag or the hand of a new acquaintance. Whatever we’re holding, we’ve got a grip on it.  But our grip strength can do more than help us hold on to an object. Handgrip is often … Continue reading Get a Grip: What Grip Strength Can Tell Us about the Cardiovascular System