, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 211-218
Date: 18 Apr 2009

Physiologic considerations and pragmatic issues in the design and implementation of lifetime exercise programs to prevent and treat coronary artery disease in women

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Physical inactivity is a major contributing factor to coronary disease, with an overall risk that is similar to obesity, cigarette smoking, elevated blood cholesterol, and hypertension. A sedentary lifestyle combined with the epidemic proportions of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular risk factors in women highlight the need for aggressive lifestyle interventions aimed at primary and secondary prevention. Exercise and habitual physical activity are cardioprotective in both sexes. Differences between men and women in the physiologic response to exercise and exercise training should be considered when exercise is used diagnostically or therapeutically. Physical activity also can help to modify some of the adverse physiologic changes associated with menopause that place women at greater cardiovascular risk.