An article in the June 28, 2011 issue of The Wall Street Journal cites a growing body of research that suggests that workouts once considered for athletes only, is now being prescribed for persons with cardiac disease-interval training. I’ve spoken on the benefits of this type of training with healthy persons for a couple of years, and now, more and more cardiac rehab programs, including the Mayo Clinic, are jumping aboard.

Using interval training, during which periods of moderate exercise alternate with “very hard” or high intensity bouts with heart patients is still controversial. In my practice, I’m easing into the use of higher intensities with cardiac patients. For instance, I ask them to give me a subjective rating between 1 and 10 of how hard they are working; a “10” is all-out, a “1” is sitting on the couch. Initially, I tell them to alternate between a “5” and a”7″, and then increase the higher number over a couple of sessions, according to what they can tolerate. The responses have been favorable so far; most say that interval training is more “fun”, breaking the monotony of walking steady for 30 minutes. In addition, sessions are shorter, and preliminary results from their various doctors indicate their physical work capacity (which is what we all want) is increasing at a faster rate.

The entire article in Tuesday’s Personal Journal in The Wall Street Journal, and is written by Kathrerine Hobson.

I’m currently reading a study on hypertension and red and blue berries and vegetables, which I’ll report on soon.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.