Exercise prescription guidelines for cardiovascular disease patients in the absence of a baseline stress test

Megan Mytinger, Rachael K. Nelson, Micah Zuhl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aerobic exercise is a core component of cardiac rehabilitation (CR). Leading organizations recommend that the exercise prescriptions should be based on a symptom limited baseline graded exercise test (GXT). However, recent evidence suggests that only ~30% of CR clinics perform baseline GXTs. Consequently, exercise prescriptions including exercise progression in CR are not following standard exercise prescription guidelines. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to provide clinicians with evidence-based techniques for prescribing exercise in the absence of a baseline GXT. Intensity indicators (e.g., heart rate, perceived exertion) are reviewed, along with special exercise considerations for various disease states (e.g., heart failure, peripheral artery disease, and coronary artery disease). Baseline exercise testing remains the gold standard approach for prescribing exercise among heart disease patients, however, clinicians must be prepared to safely develop and monitor patients when a baseline GXT is not performed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Keywords

  • Aerobic exercise
  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Graded exercise testing

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