Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco

Even Modest-Intensity Exercise Works!

March 2nd, 2012 Posted in Exercise, News, post weight loss surgery tips, Post WLS tips, Research, Uncategorized, Weight loss surgery results

ExerciseNot having time or the ability to endure long hours at the gym appears to no longer be an excuse for improving health, specifically blood pressure.  A recent clinical trial of 404 women ages 45 to 75 who were overweight or obese, sedentary and had higher-than-normal blood pressure, found that walking on a treadmill or pedaling an exercise bike – curbed exercise blood pressure. 


The term exercise blood pressure is in reference to the normal blood pressure rise with activity, however steep increases have been linked to increased risk of heart disease – independent of a person’s usual blood pressure at rest. 


The subjects who were broken into four groups: three that exercised at different levels for six months and one that stuck with their usual lifestyle.  The first exercise group followed general adult physical activity recommendations: about 2.5 hours of moderate activity per week.  The second group got only about half that amount of exercise, roughly the equivalent of 15 minutes, 5 days per week – and the third exercise group worked harder getting almost 4 hours of moderate exercise per week.


After six months, all the exercise groups showed improvements in their exercise blood pressure.  What was most interesting however was the modest difference between the hardest working group and the one who did roughly 15 minutes of activity, 5 days per week.  In the most-active group, systolic blood pressure (“top” number) dropped by an average of about 14 points, while the least active group still saw a close 11 point reduction in their systolic blood pressure.  Researchers do note that the exercise did not change the women’s blood pressure at rest; however since high blood pressure my put a strain on the heart, lowering it might do the heart good, even without effects on resting blood pressure. 


The bottom line is that it doesn’t take much to move from a sedentary couch potato status to a moderately active to a moderately active individual rewarded with potential health benefits. 



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