Exercise to Reduce Distress and Improve Cardiac Function: Moving on and Finding the Pace

  • Hugo SanerEmail author
  • Gunilla Burell


There is now clear scientific evidence linking regular aerobic physical activity to a significant cardiovascular risk reduction, and a sedentary lifestyle is currently ­considered one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Several behavioral profiles, including depression, hostility, anxiety, and overall psychosocial stress, are prevalent in patients with coronary artery disease and have been shown to independently confirm a high risk for subsequent myocardial infarction and death. It has been demonstrated that exercise training during cardiac rehabilitation can markedly reduce these high-risk behaviors. Exercise also reduces the psychophysiological response to psychological stress. Therefore, exercise has become an important ­component of stress management in conjunction with, and as a supplement to psychological counseling.


Exercise Reduce distress Improve cardiac function Physical ­activity Primary prevention Group interventions Psychosocial risk factors Stress ­management programs 


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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cardiovascular Prevention and RehabilitationUniversity Hospital InselspitalBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Public Health and Caring SciencesUniversity Hospital of UppsalaUppsalaSweden

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