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Tai Chi should be recommended to heart attack patients to help them recover, new research suggests.
The ancient Chinese martial art may provide a more enjoyable option to traditional rehab, which three fifths refuse to take part in because they deem it unpleasant.
Part - Rehabilitation - Risk - Heart - Attack
But deciding against taking part in rehabilitation can be fatal, increasing the risk of dying from a subsequent heart attack by 18 per cent.
Researchers found the slow and gentle movements involved in Tai Chi are safe and encourage patients to continue exercising.
Years - Part - Care - Heart - Attack
Used for more than 1,000 years, it could help to form part of the essential care that all heart attack patients require, Brown University experts believe.
Starting slowly and simply
Dr - Elena - Salmoirago-Blotcher - Author - 'We
Dr Elena Salmoirago-Blotcher, lead author, said: 'We thought that tai chi might be a good option for these people because you can start very slowly and simply.
'As their confidence increases, the pace and movements can be modified to increase intensity. Tai Chi exercise can reach low-to-moderate intensity levels.
Emphasis - Breathing - Relaxation - Reduction - Distress
'The emphasis on breathing and relaxation can also help with stress reduction and psychological distress.'
Cardiac rehabilitation involves a gentle reintroduction to physical activity, including aerobic exercise classes, and also guidance on diet.
Process - Months - Patients - Heart - Disease
The process, which can take months, also advises patients on how to live with heart disease and reduce their risk of repeat attacks.
All heart patients should be offered rehabilitation care...
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