Mediterranean diet combined with exercise is great for heart health
Heart health becomes a more significant issue as we age. The heart benefits of a Mediterranean diet are really remarkable. Over the years there has been an increased awareness of how healthy lifestyles and good nutrition can have a positive impact on heart health. There's no doubt about it that a healthy heart and a healthy lifestyle go hand-in-hand.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada has reported, "High-intensity interval training combined with Mediterranean diet counseling ‘supersizes’ heart health." A study released at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress says that lifestyle programs which are focused on high-intensity interval training in combination with nutritional counseling on the Mediterranean diet have been associated with dramatic results for improving the heart health of people with abdominal obesity.
Dr. Mathieu Gayda, one of the study’s authors and an exercise physiologist at the Montreal Heart Institute, has said, “Each of these lifestyle interventions alone is known to have an impact, but no one has studied them together in a longer term.”
Dr. Gayda goes on to say, “Our results show that the combination of the two interventions supersized the benefits to heart health.” It was seen that the heart health benefits included dramatic improvements in body fat mass, muscle endurance, weight loss, waist circumference, cholesterol and blood pressure levels, exercise capacity, resting heart rate and blood sugar control."
In this study there was an average reduction in waist circumference of eight centimeters and a reduction in systolic blood pressure of 6 mm Hg. There was also an aerobic fitness improvement of 15 per cent over the course of the first nine months of the study.
With improvements in waist circumference, blood pressure and fitness we can see a myriad of other health benefits which includes a reduced risk of developing high blood pressure, as well as improved quality of life, physical functioning, and cognition. In participants with diabetes blood sugar levels also improved on average by 23 per cent.