Working out is important for everyone, even those who have heart disease or have experienced a heart attack. Moderate exercise can strengthen your heart muscles, decrease dependence on medication, and encourage faster recovery. Below are a few benefits of exercise:
— Lower blood pressure
— Reduced triglycerides
— Reduced LDL cholesterol levels
— Increased HDL cholesterol levels
— Fewer symptoms of heart failure
— Excellent circulation
— Stronger heart muscles
— Weight loss
— Reduced angina
— Control of blood sugar
Despite the benefits of working out, you have to be cautious before starting an exercise routine, especially if you’ve had a heart attack or heart disease.
First, Consult Your Doctor
It’s incredibly important to discuss working out with your doctor if you’ve had a heart attack in the past, or are experiencing chest pain or shortness of breath, have diabetes, or have had a recent heart operation.
Questions to ask your doctor…
— What activities can I perform?
— What activities can strain muscles safely?
— Can I lift heavy weights?
— How much exercise is safe?
— What intensity of exercise should I start at?
— Can my medications interfere with my exercise?
— Do I need to carefully watch my pulse when working out?
— Do I need to change my medication schedule when working out?
— What should I do if I have adverse symptoms while exercising?
Your doctor may opt to complete a stress test and/or electrocardiogram before waving you for exercise.
Chances are you may be eligible for a cardiac rehabilitation program. Please discuss with your doctor and get a referral if applicable.
Regular Exercise Tips
It’s important to take a new exercise program slowly and gradually increase your intensity to build a full workout routine. Make sure you give your body plenty of time to rest as you begin.
Avoid exercising in uncomfortable environments such as temperature extremes, i.e.: hot seasons, high humidity, cold weather, etc… Extreme temperatures can cause breathing difficulty, chest pain/pressure, and inhibit circulation.
Always stay hydrated. You should drink water when exercising if you do not feel thirsty. You need plenty of eater in warm/hot temperatures.
If you have moved away from your exercise routine or had to stop due to traveling, illness, weather, etc., gradually work back into your exercise routine. Don’t assure that you’ll be able to pick up where you left off. Gradually increase your intensity.
Be safe when exercising. Don’t workout if you are feeling ill or were recently ill. Always give your body sufficient time to rest and fully recover!
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