Heart DiseasePreventive Medicine


Ever since I can remember, moderate intensity Aerobic exercise has been recommended by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology for the prevention of high blood pressure. The standard of 150 minutes per week for teens and young adults has been felt to be adequate for preventing high blood pressure later in life. 

A retrospective evaluation of adults with hypertension revealed that the lower the level of physical activity you have as a young adult, the greater the odds of developing hypertension up to 30 years later. 

The study showed that exercising 150 minutes a week was “suboptimal,” and suboptimal physical activity “was significantly associated with the onset of hypertension.” The AHA and ACC found that a more appropriate recommendation was “5 hours of physical activity per week.” 

Five hours of physical activity a week? That sounds like quite a lot. On a daily basis it figures to be 40-45 minutes each day. Some folks don’t have that much time, but if you do, it’s time well spent. Teenagers and young adults are involved in school sports and recreational activities that keep them fit, but jobs and family responsibilities soon cut into the luxury of free time. Weights go up, waistlines get bigger, and exercise gets postponed. 

“Maintaining physical activity into adulthood—at higher levels than previously recommended—may be particularly important.” 

Dr. G’s Opinion: This level of exercise would require an individual to have a great deal of self-discipline. An hour 5 days a week, or 40-45 minutes each day, is significant. Adhering to this level of activity for many years adds another degree of difficulty. The benefits, however, aren’t just for high blood pressure prevention. Maintaining an ideal body weight, lowering cholesterol, strengthening stamina, and improving general cardiovascular fitness are some other benefits. If only all of us could be motivated to be this active. If we were, and statins were put in the water,  the incidence of cardiovascular disease would plummet. 

Reference:  https://www.practicalcardiology.com/view/current-exercise-guidelines-may-not-be-enough-to-prevent-hypertension. 

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