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A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2009 June;62(2):125-34

language: English, Italian

Physical activity in the treatment of systemic arterial hypertension

Mantovani E. 1, Spigolon L. 2

1 Cardiology Rehabilitation Unit, Camposampiero Hospital Local Health Unit 15, Alta Padovana, Padua, Italy
2 Sports Medicine Unit, District 3, Local Health Unit 16, Padua, Italy


Physical activity is recommended for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular events. It is shown that the guidelines for the treatment of systemic arterial hypertension (SAH) have stratified cardiovascular risk on the basis of the association of other risk factors or the presence of organ damage. The treatment of SAH can reduce long-term cardiovascular events. The first rule recommends to modify personal life-style, to follow a correct diet and to practice regular, appropriate and personalised physical activity. Pharmacological treatment is at times indispensable. The mechanisms whereby motor activity contributes to the reduction in pressure values are described together with the extent of this reduction. The physical activity advisable in the hypertensive is slight-to-moderate intensity aerobic, to be carried out a few times a week. Work parameters are provided (calorie consumption, duration, frequency and intensity of the exercise) useful for the prescription of physical training in various types of clinical pictures and age brackets. Indications are also provided on the use of functional and/or provocative tests for the detection or exclusion of coronary pathology.

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