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How Is Exercise Like Brushing Your Teeth?

This isn’t really plastic surgery related, but considering that I am always trying to get patients to get more active or to remain active, then maybe it is.  I like to tell my patients that I have the easy part, they have the hard part of maintaining the results.  This is especially true for the liposuction or abdominoplasty patients where keeping their weight in line is an issue to outcome in years to come.

There is a new article published in  Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association earlier this week which looked at different types of exercise after a myocardial infarction (MI).

The authors,  Dr Margherita Vona et al, did a controlled trial using 209 patients who were referred to cardiac rehabilitation after having an MI.  These patients were then randomly assigned to one of four groups:  aerobic training, resistance training, both combined, or no exercise.

The researchers looked at flow-mediated dilation (improve blood vessel function) at baseline after 4 weeks of exercise, and then again one month after stopping training.  The flow-mediated dilation more than doubled with exercise, from about 4% to about 10% in all three exercise groups.  Those in the no exercise group had a small increase from the baseline 4% to about 5%.

The benefits of physical activity did not last when the activity ended.  Within a month of no exercise, the flow-mediated  function returned to baseline levels.

The important finding of this study is as Dr Vona said, “Long-term adherence to training programs is necessary to maintain vascular benefits on endothelial function.”

Exercise / physical activity has to be like “brushing your teeth”.  It needs to be something that you do regularly and not just once or this week, but for life.

It is not important which physical activity you choose to do, it is important that you do it.  It is important that you continue to be physically active on a regular basis.


Effects of different types of exercise training followed by detraining on endothelium-dependent dilation in patients with recent myocardial infarction”; Circulation 2009; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.821736; Vona M, et al

**This blog post was originally published at Suture For A Living.**

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One Response to “How Is Exercise Like Brushing Your Teeth?”

  1. Strong One says:

    “Exercise / physical activity has to be like “brushing your teeth”. It needs to be something that you do regularly and not just once or this week, but for life.”
    Isn't it amazing how some needed an 'official' study to relate this well known piece of information.
    Thanks for sharing.

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