In Japan, there were an estimated 43 million patients with hypertension in 2010. The management of this condition is given the highest priority in disease control, and the importance of lifestyle changes for the prevention and treatment of hypertension has been recognized in Japan. In particular, emphasis has been placed on increasing the levels of activities of daily living and physical exercise (sports). In this literature review, we examined appropriate exercise prescriptions (e.g., type, intensity, duration per session, and frequency) for the prevention and treatment of hypertension as described in Japanese and foreign articles. This review recommends safe and effective whole-body aerobic exercise at moderate intensity (i.e., 50–65% of maximum oxygen intake, 30–60 min per session, 3–4 times a week) that primarily focuses on the major muscle groups for the prevention and treatment of hypertension. Resistance exercise should be performed at low-intensity without breath-holding and should be used as supplementary exercise, but resistance exercise is contraindicated in patients with hypertension who have chest symptoms such as chest pain.
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