According to the American Heart Association, while discomfort during exercise is a major reason why patients with heart failure seek medical attention, exercise training is safe and can benefit these patients.
Exercise is essential in the prevention and rehabilitation of many types of heart disease. Many of the risk factors for heart diseases, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity, can be mitigated by exercise.
Coronary artery disease is the most common type of cardiovascular disease. Hypertension, stroke, and congestive heart failure are among the others. Coronary artery disease is almost always the result of atherosclerosis or the formation of blockages that gradually narrow the arteries that supply blood to the heart. The blockages are mostly made up of fatty substances, cholesterol, and calcium.
When blood flow is insufficient to meet the needs of the heart, people typically experience chest pressure or a dull ache, which can sometimes radiate up into the neck, jaw, left shoulder, or arm. The medical term for this type of pain is angina. Clots can form and completely block the vessel, causing a heart attack.
Guidelines for General Exercise
People who have recently been diagnosed with coronary artery disease are frequently referred to a cardiac rehabilitation program. Many people can begin an exercise program at home safely. Based on your medical history and current physical condition, your doctor will be able to advise you on the best type of program for you.
1. If you have recently had a heart attack or surgery, you must seek medical clearance and follow the recommendations of a physician before increasing your activity level.
2. Keep a close eye on your exercise intensity. Make an effort to stay within your personal heart-rate zone (usually determined by a physician from a treadmill test). Your exercise heart rate should be at least 10 beats per minute slower than the level that causes abnormal signs or symptoms. (Take a 10-second pulse and multiply it by six to get your heart rate in beats per minute.) Your doctor should advise you on an exercise heart rate that is both safe and appropriate for you. This may entail performing an exercise stress test to determine your maximum heart rate.
3. Make an effort to exercise three to four times per week. Individuals with a low level of fitness may benefit from five to ten minutes of exercise two to three times per day. Warm up and cool down gradually for at least 10 minutes. Over a one to six-month period, the total exercise duration should be gradually increased to 30 to 60 minutes. In addition to a specific exercise program, you can help your heart by increasing your daily activity. Ride a stationary bicycle while watching TV or reading the newspaper, for example. Start gardening, use a manual lawn mower, or walk or bike short distances. Perhaps you could park a mile away from work and walk, park your car at the farthest end of the parking
4. Lots, take the stairs rather than the elevator and walk the dog more frequently. Make use of your imagination! Inform your doctor if you experience any unusual signs or symptoms before, during, or after exercise. This includes symptoms such as chest pain, labored breathing, and extreme fatigue.
5. If prescribed, keep your nitroglycerin on hand at all times, especially during exercise.
6. Keep hydrated: It is critical to drink water even if you do not feel thirsty, especially on hot days.
7. Exercising outside when it is too cold, hot, or humid is not a good idea. High humidity can cause fatigue; extreme temperatures can disrupt circulation, make breathing difficult, and cause chest pain. Indoor activities, such as mall walking, are preferable.
8. Never overexert yourself to the point of experiencing chest pain or angina. If you experience chest pain while exercising, stop immediately and consult your doctor.
It is never too late to increase your physical activity or begin an exercise regimen. Before you begin, get permission from your doctor and some guidelines
Remember to keep your workouts as comfortable as possible. Slow down if it’s causing you pain; you’re pushing too hard.
Exercise for Strength
It may be beneficial for heart patients to incorporate strength training into their physical conditioning program. Strength training, in addition to improving muscle fitness and well-being, can reduce the heart rate and blood pressure responses to upper-body work such as lifting. As a result, resistance training can reduce the demands placed on your heart during work and leisure activities.
Heavy loads can put undue strain on the heart, so use light loads that allow for a high number of repetitions (ideally 10 to 15) per set. Strength training should target all of your body’s major muscle groups. Single-set programs performed two to three times per week are preferred over multiple-set programs because they are more effective and require less time.
Cardiac Warning Symptoms
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should stop exercising immediately and consult a doctor:
- From your neck to your navel, you may experience pain or pressure.
- an abnormal heart rhythm,
- unusual shortness of breath,
- Nausea are all symptoms.
Suggestions for reducing heart problems include:
Aside from exercising, heart patients can take the following steps to reduce their risk of future heart problems:
Consume a variety of low-fat, low-cholesterol, low-calorie, and nonfat foods, as well as plenty of grains, fruits, and vegetables. Aim for an LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) level of fewer than 100 milligrams per deciliter.
- Stop smoking.
- Take the medications that your doctor has prescribed for you.
- Learn how to react calmly in stressful situations. Create stress-relieving techniques such as deep breathing or meditation.
- If your blood pressure is high (140/90 or higher), take medication to lower it. This usually entails a change in diet, exercise, and, in some cases, medication.
- Schedule regular checkups.
- Consider enrolling in a cardiac rehabilitation program, which offers guided exercise as well as social support.
Please keep in mind that this information is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment. Consult your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
The Content is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions about a medical condition, always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider.