3.21 American Heart Association Guidelines Summary

The AHA gives two different options for regular exercise:

  1. Aerobic exercise for at least 150 minutes per week or 30 minutes per day, most days of the week AND strength training twice weekly
  2. Aerobic exercise of “vigorous” intensity for 25 minutes 3 days per week (total of 75 minutes) AND strength training twice weekly

These recommendations are meant for all adults, including healthy people without heart disease or risk factors for heart disease and regardless of age. This amount of exercise is considered by the AHA as the minimum to help prevent heart disease, yet there is evidence that even longer duration of exercise of moderate intensity can further reduce heart disease risk as you will see in the CDC recommendations. Extreme aerobic exercise such as marathon running or triathlons is quite controversial as to the risk of heart disease with this degree of exercise, so the AHA does not comment on or recommend this amount of physical activity.

Note that these physical activity recommendations are meant to be life-long, not just temporary to get you into shape. Once you stop being physically active, your heart disease risk will go back up and health problems can come back or get worse.

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