Human studies demonstrated that chronic aerobic exercise regimens improve cardiovascular function in older people (Benjamin et al., 2004) and those with cardiovascular risk factors (Hambrecht et al., 1998), as well as healthy young subjects (Clarkson et al., 1999).
Mild oxidative stress can act as a stimulant of physiological anti-oxidant systems and as a trigger for various physiological adaptations(Gomez-Cabrera et al., 2008).Regular physical exercise delays the accumulation of free radical-mediated cell damage by improving the anti-oxidative protective mechanisms in the myocardium (Radak et al., 2005; ji et al. 2006).
In patients after myocardial infarctions, percutaneous coronary intervention, or coronary artery bypass graft surgery, those who participate in a comprehensive exercise rehabilitation program have a 6-fold decrease in cardiac death compared with those patients who do not undergo cardiac rehabilitation (Taylor et al., 2004).
A provocative study looking at exercise vs angioplasty in patients with coronary artery disease determined by more than 75% stenosis on angiography showed that those who exercised daily had a lower cardiovascular event-free survival and equal angina symptom improvement (Hambrecht et al. 2004).
Despite these and many other findings showing the benefits of exercise, physicians reported spending an average of 8 minutes counseling their patients on lifestyle change at routine annual visits. Furthermore, fewer than 5% of physicians advise patients to engage in physical activity at least 6 days per week as recommended by national guidelines (Guarneri et al., 2009).