This is the VOA Special English Health
Dancing is good exercise. Now a study shows it can improve
the health and quality of life of people with mild to moderate heart failure.
Heart failure is not the same as a heart attack or heart stoppage. It means
the heart is weakened and cannot pump blood normally. As a result, blood and
fluid collect in the lungs and fluid builds up in the feet and legs.
This condition develops over time. In the United States, heart failure is a
cause or the cause of about 300,000 deaths each year. So says the National
Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
People with heart failure get tired and short of breath easily. Daily
activities become difficult. But their doctors may want them to perform aerobic
exercise at least three times a week. Aerobic exercise is activity that makes
the heart and lungs work harder and increases oxygen use.
Many patients, though, lose interest in traditional programs of exercise
So researchers tested the effects of dancing. They chose waltz dancing
because it is internationally known. They presented the study at a recent
meeting of the American Heart Association.
Doctor Romualdo Belardinelli at Lancisi Heart Institute in Ancona, Italy, led
the study. It involved 89 men and 21 women with mild to moderate heart
failure. The average age was fifty-nine.
One group of 44 people took part in a supervised program of riding
exercise bicycles and walking on treadmills three times a week.
Forty-four others danced three times a week. Each time, they danced a
combination of slow waltzes and fast waltzes for 21 minutes. A third group
with 22 people did not exercise. All three groups were observed for eight
The study found improved oxygen use in both the dance and exercise groups, so
the people got tired less easily. The dancers showed an 18 percent
improvement. In the exercise group, it was 16 percent. The group that did
not exercise had no improvement.
The researchers say the findings were the same as an earlier study of slow
and fast waltzing. That study showed it was safe for patients with heart disease
and a history of heart attacks. Doctor Belardinelli says doctors have to find
something that may capture the interest of patients. He says exercise should be
fun, so people will want to continue for a lifetime.
And that's the VOA Special English Health Report, written by Lawan Davis. I'm
heart failure : 心脏衰竭