Physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, and exercise training in primary and secondary coronary prevention

Circ J. 2013;77(2):281-92. doi: 10.1253/circj.cj-13-0007. Epub 2013 Jan 18.


Substantial data have established that higher levels of physical activity (PA), participating in exercise training (ET), and higher overall cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) provide considerable protection in the primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD). This review surveys data from epidemiological and prospective ET studies supporting the favorable impact of PA, ET, and CRF in primary CHD prevention. Clearly, cardiac rehabilitation and ET (CRET) programs have been underutilized for patients with CHD, particularly considering the effect of CRET on CHD risk factors, including CRF, obesity indices, fat distribution, plasma lipids, inflammation, and psychological distress, as well as overall morbidity and mortality. These data strongly support the routine referral of patients with CHD to CRET programs and that patients should be vigorously encouraged to attend CRET following major CHD events.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Disease* / physiopathology
  • Coronary Disease* / prevention & control
  • Coronary Disease* / rehabilitation
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*