Prescribed Exercise Should Be First Treatment For High Blood Pressure, Cholesterol

It might be time to get moving. The American Heart Association (AHA) released a scientific statement yesterday saying physical activity is the optimal first treatment choice for adults with mild to moderately elevated blood pressure and blood cholesterol who are otherwise healthy.

Lead study author Dr. Bethany Baron Gibbs says, “Increasing physical activity can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, along with many other health benefits.” Additionally, AHA researchers say some percent of people with mildly high cholesterol would also be best served with a prescription for lifestyle changes. Among those changes: increased physical activity, weight loss, improved diet, not smoking and moderating alcohol intake.

They add that there’s no minimum amount of activity required for health improvement from physical activity. Gibbs adds, “Every little bit of activity is better than none. Even small initial increases of 5 to 10 minutes a day can yield health benefits.”