You don’t have to stop exercising just because you have problems with your heart. Just because you’ve had a heart attack, a weak heart (congestive heart failure) or other heart disease, doesn’t mean that you have to sit around and do nothing
Getting regular exercise when you have heart problems is important. Because, exercise can make your heart muscle stronger. It may also help you be more active without chest pain or other symptoms.
Moreover, exercise may help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. If you have diabetes, it can help you control your blood sugar. Regular exercise can help you lose weight and also feel better. Besides, exercise will also help keep your bones strong.
Yearly, people die from various heart problems across the globe. Heart disease is one of the top health problems in America and a growing concern throughout the world. The best way to prevent heart problems and many other diseases is to stay active and eat a heart-healthy diet.
Even if you’ve fallen victim to a health condition, don’t let it be a death sentence. You can take control of your health to the best of your ability by eating right and staying active. Here are there best exercises if you suffer from any heart problems.
Getting Started: Things to Discuss with Your Doctor
Always check with your doctor first before starting an exercise program. Your doctor can help you find a program for your level of fitness and physical condition.
Here are some discussion questions:
- How much exercise can I do?
- How often can I exercise each week?
- What type of exercise should I do?
- What type of activities should I avoid?
- Should I take my medication(s) at a certain time around my exercise schedule?
- Do I have to take my pulse while exercising?
General Workout Tips for People With Heart Problems
Start slowly. Choose an aerobic activity such as walking, swimming, light jogging, or biking. Do this at least 3 to 4 times a week.
Always do 5 minutes of stretching or moving around to warm up your muscles and heart before exercising. Allow time to cool down after you exercise. Do the same activity but at a slower pace.
Take rest periods before you get too tired. If you feel tired or have any heart symptoms, stop. Wear comfortable clothing for the exercise you are doing.
During hot weather, exercise in the morning or evening. Be careful not to wear too many layers of clothes. You can also go to an indoor shopping mall to walk.
When it is cold, cover your nose and mouth when exercising outside. Go to an indoor shopping mall if it is too cold or snowy to exercise outside. Ask your provider if it is OK for you to exercise when it is below freezing.
Resistance weight training may improve your strength and help your muscles work together better. This can make it easier to do daily activities. These exercises are good for you. But keep in mind they do not help your heart like aerobic exercise does.
Check out your weight-training routine with your doctor first. Go easy, and do not strain too hard. It is better to do lighter sets of exercise when you have heart disease than to work out too hard.
You may need advice from a physical therapist or trainer. Either one can show you how to do exercises the right way. Make sure you breathe steadily and switch between upper and lower body work. Rest often.
Best Exercises for People with Heart Problems
The best exercises are those that work your cardiovascular system without putting strain on your heart muscles. The right cardiovascular exercises will strengthen your heart muscle, improve your circulation and lower your blood pressure.
You can’t go wrong with walking. It’s one of the most basic and fundamental aspects of being human. You have to do it to live life, so you might as well do just a bit more of it each day. Wear a fitness tracker to monitor your steps, or take your dog for an extra lap around the block.
Walking is also the best way to monitor your exercise tolerance. If you’re unable to walk from your car to door of the grocery store, then you know you need to slowly build your fitness level for better health.
There are all kinds of yoga. It’s best to avoid hot yoga or Bikram yoga. These types of yoga place you in very hot rooms which can be intolerable for some individuals with heart problems.
Instead, find a calm yoga series you can do in the comfort of your own home. The benefit of this is that you won’t have to worry about the weather outside.
3. Tai Chi
Tai chi is a Chinese martial art form that many individuals do today for a slow-moving form of exercise. It acts to link body movements with breath for intentional exercise. One of the biggest benefits includes mental calmness and clarity, and any exercise that helps to reduce stress is of great benefit for your heart.
Swimming is an excellent choice in warm weather, but be sure that when you swim the water isn’t too cold.
You’ll want to be gentle with yourself and wade in shallow water while you work your way up to swimming lengths of the pool. You can find a water aerobics series or class, if swimming lanes alone isn’t your thing.
Biking can be an easy and gentle form of exercise, as long as you’re not dodging traffic or freezing in cold temperatures. Pick a nice day and a beautiful trail around a lake or pond.
6. Light jogging
You’ll want to consult your doctor before heavy or long distance jogging, but if you do feel called, light jogging can be a major benefit to your overall cardiovascular health.
What to Watch Out For While Exercising With Heart Problems
You should stop exercising if you begin to experience:
- Chest pain
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Unexplained weight gain or swelling (Call your doctor right away.)
- Pressure or pain in your chest, neck, arm, jaw or shoulder, or any other symptoms that cause concern.
- Never exercise to the point of chest pain or angina. If you develop chest pain during exercise, seek emergency care right away.
If any of these problems persist after you’ve stopped, then you need to notify your physician.
Don’t let your heart problems hinder your enthusiasm for life. In fact, use your heart condition as even more reason to stay longer. Just do so in a way that honors your body where it’s at now, and remember to pace yourself.
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