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Metabolic Syndrome and Hypertension: Regular Exercise as Part of Lifestyle Management

Abstract

The incorporation of physical activity and exercise represents a clinically important aspect in the management of metabolic syndrome, hypertension, and diabetes. While the benefit of exercise and active lifestyles is well documented for prevention and risk reduction of cardiovascular and stroke outcomes, the detailed regiment and recommendations are less clear. The components of a prescribed physical activity include consideration of activity type, frequency of an activity, activity duration, and intensity of a specific physical movement. The exercise parameters prescribed as part of the management of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and elevated blood pressure are most often proposed as separate documents while the general recommendations are similar. The evidence is strong such that physical activity and exercise recommendations in disease management guidelines are considered high quality. The general recommendations for both blood pressure and glycemic management include a regiment of physical activity with moderate- to high-intensity exercise of 30-min bouts on multiple days with a desired goal of a total of 150 min of exercise per week. While additional research is needed to identify the specific exercise/activity mode, frequencies for exercise training, intensity levels, and duration of exercise that achieve maximal blood pressure and glycemic lowering, this general recommendation showed a consistent and significant benefit in risk reduction. Similarly, the current available evidence also indicates that aerobic exercise, dynamic resistance exercise, and isometric exercises can lower blood pressure and improve glycemic control.

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Daniel T. Lackland and Jenifer H. Voeks declare no conflicts of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Correspondence to Daniel T. Lackland.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Hypertension and Obesity

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Lackland, D.T., Voeks, J.H. Metabolic Syndrome and Hypertension: Regular Exercise as Part of Lifestyle Management. Curr Hypertens Rep 16, 492 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11906-014-0492-2

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Keywords

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Exercise
  • Physical activity