To provide physical activity recommendations for people with cardiovascular disease, an Expert Working Group of the National Heart Foundation of Australia in late 2004 reviewed the evidence since the US Surgeon General’s Report: physical activity and health in 1996.
The Expert Working Group recommends that:
people with established clinically stable cardiovascular disease should aim, over time, to achieve 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week;
less intense and even shorter bouts of activity with more rest periods may suffice for those with advanced cardiovascular disease; and
regular low-to-moderate level resistance activity, initially under the supervision of an exercise professional, is encouraged.
Benefits from regular moderate physical activity for people with cardiovascular disease include augmented physiological functioning, lessening of cardiovascular symptoms, enhanced quality of life, improved coronary risk profile, superior muscle fitness and, for survivors of acute myocardial infarction, lower mortality.
The greatest potential for benefit is in those people who were least active before beginning regular physical activity, and this benefit may be achieved even at relatively low levels of physical activity.
Medical practitioners should routinely provide brief, appropriate advice on physical activity to people with well-compensated, clinically stable cardiovascular disease.
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