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Exercise, Weight Loss and Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)
Health Benefits of High Calorie Exercise Training in Obesity Patients
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Exercise, Weight Loss & Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

Reduction in obesity and coronary risk factors after high caloric exercise training in overweight coronary patients.

The majority of patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) are overweight. However, little weight loss occurs with participation in a standard cardiac rehabilitation (CR) program.

Exercise-Weight-Heart Study - Methods
Fifteen overweight patients (average body mass index of 31.0 kg/m2) with coronary heart disease completed a 4-month exercise training program in a CR program. The exercise program consisted primarily of walking long duration (60-90 minutes per session) 5 to 7 days per week at a relatively low intensity of 50 percent to 60 percent of peak VO2. Measures of body composition by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, body fat distribution by computed tomography, plasma lipid-lipoprotein, glucose and insulin concentrations, and peak VO2 were obtained before and after the exercise intervention. Patients maintained an isocaloric diet throughout the study.

Exercise-Weight-Heart Study - Results
Patients had reductions in total body weight (-4.6 kg), fat mass (-3.6 kg), percent body fat (-2.9 percent), and waist circumference (-5.6 cm) while maintaining fat-free mass. Subcutaneous adipose tissue was reduced by 12 percent and visceral adipose tissue was lowered by 14 percent. There were favorable changes in the lipid-metabolic profile with reductions in triglyceride levels (-23.7 percent), total cholesterol/HDL-C ratio (-14.3 percent), and fasting insulin levels (-22.3 percent). Peak VO2 increased by 21.2 percent.

Exercise-Weight-Heart Study - Conclusions
The present pilot study results suggest that a high caloric training exercise training program in the CR setting may be effective in promoting weight loss and improving coronary risk factors in overweight coronary patients. Although additional research with randomized control patients is needed, this alternative to traditional CR may be considered to maximize weight loss as part of a secondary prevention program.

Source: Savage PD, Brochu M, Poehlman ET, Ades PA. Division of Cardiology, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, Vt, USA. 2003

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Theories about how to lose weight, how to reduce obesity and general weight management are constantly changing along with ideas about which weight loss diet program is best and so forth. At present, however, a balanced diet combined with regular exercise remains the favorite weight loss strategy of most dietitians and weight loss experts.

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