The American Heart Association (AHA) has released a statement advising doctors to encourage healthy adults with slightly elevated blood pressure or cholesterol to engage in more physical activity and reduce sedentary behavior.
The goal is to improve heart health and prevent heart disease and stroke. Doctors are being asked to provide exercise “prescriptions” and connect patients to resources like health coaches and community centers.
Understanding the Risk
Around 21% of adults in the United States have slightly high blood pressure, and approximately 28% have slightly high cholesterol levels.
These individuals are considered at low risk for heart disease or stroke, and lifestyle changes are often the recommended treatment.
These changes may include increasing physical activity, weight loss, improving diet, quitting smoking, and moderating alcohol intake.
Recommendations for Doctors
The AHA statement suggests that doctors inquire about their patient’s physical activity levels during each visit and connect them with resources to help increase their activity levels.
The statement emphasizes that even small increases in physical activity can yield significant health benefits. Studies show that increased physical activity can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Celebrating Small Improvements
The AHA statement highlights the importance of celebrating small improvements in physical activity, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or incorporating more walking throughout the day.
These small changes can contribute to overall heart health.
Federal Physical Activity Guidelines
The federal guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week, along with strength training sessions twice a week.
Following these guidelines can help improve heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Preventing High Blood Pressure
There are several lifestyle changes individuals can make to prevent high blood pressure.
These include maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, following a healthy diet, limiting alcohol intake, quitting smoking, managing stress, getting enough sleep, and monitoring blood pressure regularly.
Importance of Early Intervention
Regular blood pressure screenings are crucial for early detection of high blood pressure. Early intervention and treatment can help prevent complications and manage the condition effectively.
The recent statement from the AHA encourages doctors to prescribe exercise and connect patients to resources that promote physical activity.
This approach aims to improve heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. By making lifestyle changes and engaging in regular exercise, individuals can protect their heart health and overall well-being.
Preventive measures are key to maintaining healthy blood pressure and reducing the chances of developing heart-related complications.
If you care about health, please read studies about diet that could help reduce high blood pressure, diabetes, and the best time to take high blood pressure drugs.
For more information about health, please see recent studies about added sugar in your diet linked to higher blood pressure, and results showing new cause of high blood pressure, heart disease.
The study was published in Hypertension and conducted by Bethany Barone Gibbs et al.
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