Dr. David Iansmith, Cardiologist, Pharmacologist, Electrophysiologist
Brian Richardson, Sports Physical Therapist
with the Cardiology Group of Memphis, says, “For older people because their vessels are already altered and because they have significant risk factors, they have obviously a higher index of stroke than young people. Their risk factors can be similar, especially if young people have diabetes, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia, which is the triad we call Syndrome X.” Syndrome X is a group of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Hyperlipidemia means the blood has too many lipids (or fats), such as cholesterol and triglycerides, and this condition increases fatty deposits in arteries and the risk of blockages. “And young people with Syndrome X don’t do well,” adds Dr. Iansmith. “And they, over time, develop all the atherosclerotic changes that older people have: heart attacks, strokes, kidney problems, loss of limbs. But in the elderly individual with what we call stove-pipe vessels that are hardened and brittle, their vessels don’t give very much with more volume. They have more problems. The difference obviously is the hits taken by the body over a prolonged period of time, which takes a toll.” He explains that younger people can withstand a problem over a longer period of time. “But people who have strokes while young don’t do as well as people that have strokes who are older,” he says. “It really helps them recover having a firmer brain than someone who is young and active and without any such restrictions. You’d think that would be a benefit, but it’s not.”
one thing that holds true for young boys and mature adult men is that they believe they are ‘bullet proof,’ until they discover that they are not!” Men often tell themselves it’s the ‘other’ guys who get colon cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, diabetes, and hypertension, but not them. This belief can lead to dire consequences. “Believing they are not vulnerable to catastrophic events leads to terrible injuries, especially in their younger years, and life altering diseases in their older years,” says Tipton. Staying physically fit begins with a healthy lifestyle and exercise. Brian Richardson, a board-certified sports physical therapist at the Vanderbilt Orthopedic Institute in Nashville, shared the guidelines recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) for adults. Those recommendations include the following: 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, which can be met with 30-to-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days per week or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise three days per week. Moderate-intensity exercises include walking, cycling, or resistance training. Examples of vigorous-intensity exercise include jogging, rowing, or circuit training with resistance. Those individuals who do not enjoy going to the gym should try counting steps using a pedometer. “The goal should be to get in 10,000 steps per day, and a pedometer is an easy way to track this,” says Richardson. “If they haven’t exercised in a while, I recommend getting clearance from their physician. This all helps them to be fit for that big day!”
STAYING FIT TO PREVENT INJURIES Injuries can “trip up” that trip down the aisle also. Jack W. Tipton, a CRNA (certified registered nurse anesthetist) and APRN (advanced practice registered nurse) states, “The
A former medical professional, James Richardson is now a freelance writer and photographer who lives in Oakland, Tennessee.
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