Heart-Healthy Nutrition and Physical Activity Behaviors

The work group recommends “heart healthy nutrition and physical activity behaviors for the entire US adult population,” congruent with the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee Report.4


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Physical activity to lower lipids: The work group recommends that adults engage in aerobic physical activity to reduce LDL-C and non-HDL-C. The panel advises 3 to 4 sessions a week, lasting on average 40 minutes per session, and involving moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity. (Level B Evidence-Moderate)

Physical activity to lower blood pressure: The work group recommends that adults engage in aerobic physical activity to reduce BP: 3 to 4 session a week, lasting on average 40 minute per session, and involving moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity. (Level B Evidence-Moderate)

Conclusion

The authors acknowledge that there are significant “gaps in evidence and future research needs.” These include “strategies for effectively (and cost-effectively) implementing these evidence-based recommendations.”

Questions they raise include “How can primary care providers, health systems, public health agencies, local and federal government, community organizations, and other stakeholders help patients adopt these diet and sodium intake recommendations?”

Regarding physical activity, they state that additional research is needed to understand the pattern of exercise associated with cholesterol reduction that may lead to “improved understanding of whether exercise performed at a lower intensity or dose” or “different modes of exercise” can also impact the same outcomes.

References

1. Grundy SM, Cleeman JI, Merz CN, et al. Implications of recent clinical trials for the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines. Circulation 2004; 110:227-239.

2. Eckel RH, Jakicic JM, Ard JD, et al. 2013 AHA/ACC guideline on lifestyle management to reduce cardiovascular risk: a report of the American College of Cardiology American/Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol 2013. Available at: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2013/11/11/01.cir.0000437740.48606.d1.full.pdf+html. Accessed: November 23, 2013.

3. Goff DC, Lloyd-Jones DM, Bennett G, et al.  2013 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Assessment of Cardiovascular Risk: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2013.  Available at:  http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2013/11/11/01.cir.0000437741.48606.98.full.pdf+html. Accessed: November 16, 2013.

4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, 2008:1-76.


To look at any of the articles in this series, click below.

Part 1: Cardiovascular Risk Assessment
Part 2: Lifestyle Management
Part 3: Panel Member Addresses Controversies Surrounding New Cholesterol Guideline
Part 4: Management of Overweight and Obesity in Adults