Avoiding All Alcohol Helps the Heart Beat Better
The longer you refrain from drinking, the lower your risk of a common heart rhythm disorder.
That’s the message of a new long-range study examining alcohol use and atrial fibrillation, or Afib. This is when electrical impulses in the upper chambers of the heart are chaotic and cause an irregular heartbeat, which increases the risk of blood clots that can cause stroke or heart attacks.
One in four adults older than 40 is at risk for Afib, and nearly 6 million people in the United States could have the condition by 2050.
But the researchers from the University of California, San Francisco found that every decade of non-drinking decreased the risk of Afib by 20 percent, regardless of the type of alcohol.
Women who drink in any amount before conception and during pregnancy will cause a higher risk of problems for your infant.
The study included heart-risk data generated over 25 years on more than 15,000 American adults
Past drinkers were at increased risk for Afib, the researchers found. Every additional decade in which alcohol was consumed in the past was associated with a 13 percent increased risk of Afib, and every additional drink per day during former drinking was associated with a 4 percent increased risk.
“For a disease that affects millions and is one of the most important causes of stroke, identifying modifiable risk factors is especially important,” study senior author Dr. Gregory Marcus said in a UCSF news release. He directs clinical research at the university’s division of cardiology.
“Future research may help identify patients particularly prone to alcohol-related [Afib], and, when done, targeted counseling to those patients may be especially effective,” he added.
“Our finding suggests there may be chronic cardiac remodeling effects from alcohol that don’t rely on alcohol as an acute trigger, and further research into why this occurs is needed,” Marcus concluded.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr C Carney
Expert Answers: Is it Safe to Exercise Barefoot at the Gym?
Sure — if it’s done correctly. Here are some tips.
Barefoot exercising can be both safe and beneficial — if it’s done correctly and if you start slowly, says Maryland-based physical therapist and trainer Kevin McGuinness, DPT, CSCS.
Jumping into barefoot training increases your chance of developing an injury, McGuinness says. He advises reducing the volume and intensity of your workouts to 25 percent of your normal routine in the first week going barefoot. Then slowly build up.
Next, consider your activity. Going barefoot when performing strength moves like deadlifts and overhead presses can increase foot and toe strength. It also improves proprioception, which boosts overall fitness performance and delivers neurological benefits.
If you’re performing plyometric exercises or training outdoors, however, it’s safer to have something on your feet.
Some gyms require footwear, so check club rules before unlacing your shoes. To replicate the barefoot-training effect, you can opt for minimalist sneakers or nonslip grip socks.
Once you head for the locker room, bathroom, or sauna, make sure to slip on sandals to protect your feet from germs.
As always contact us for your personal health care concerns and needs.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr P Carrothers