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Safe Exercise Tips for Patients With Heart Disease

It’s no secret that exercise is one of the best ways to manage heart disease, but in some ways, it can also be a catch-22. An individual who performs the right types of exercises can gradually improve their heart health over time; however, an individual who overexerts could put too much strain on their heart, leading to further complications. Finding the perfect balance can be difficult by yourself, which is why many patients choose to partner with Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC, one of the best Tampa cardiac specialists. Recognizing that isolating a single issue for treatment can lead to subpar outcomes, Dr. Popat’s innovative treatment plans are focused on whole-patient care and long-term results.

Why Exercise Is Important for Heart Health

Patients who want to improve their heart health should plan to exercise for 20-30 minutes each day. The cardiovascular benefits of exercise are numerous. Exercise gives your cardiovascular system the boost it needs to perform at a high level, improving oxygen circulation and ensuring that your body’s most important systems are oxygenated. It can also help reduce blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. While you’ve been hearing about the benefits of exercise since grade school, it’s important for patients to approach exercise deliberately to avoid injury. Pay close attention to your heart rate whenever you use the treadmill, elliptical machine, stairmaster, as well as during regular exercises. Even relatively low-impact ones, such as stretching or yoga, require monitoring. Your heart needs time to adjust to your new workout regimen, and you definitely don’t want to push it past its limits.

Choosing the Right Exercise 

If you’ve suffered from heart-related condition recently or in the past, it’s important to consult a cardiologist about putting together an appropriate exercise regimen for your needs. Set realistic goals and follow your medical provider’s instructions closely. The same principle applies for those who choose to work with a physical therapist specializing in cardiac training and rehabilitation. Below, our Tampa cardiac specialists have listed some suitable exercises for individuals suffering from various types of heart disease:


  • Heart Failure: Speed walking, jogging, riding a bike

  • Heart Stent: Golfing, dancing, and other low-impact activities

  • Congenital Heart Disease: Monitored, regular activity

  • Heart Attack: Cardiac rehabilitation

  • Aortic Aneurysms: Mild activity after getting the green light from a cardiologist

  • Other: Group exercises, water aerobics, and general outdoor activity

Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Break

As we mentioned above, exercise is a wonderful remedy for combating heart disease, but overdoing it can result in further complications. If you experience weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness, chest pain, swelling or inflammation, weight gain, or pressure in your upper body while working out, stop exercising immediately. Call 911 immediately if you experience severe chest pain.

Embrace Heart-Healthy Habits

Exercise isn’t a cure-all for heart disease. You’ll want to support your active lifestyle with a healthy diet, too. Plant-based nutrition has been recognized as a significant boon to heart health, and thanks to recent innovations in the plant-based culinary world, plant-based meals are turning skeptics into believers. Check out this impressive list of heart-healthy recipes for inspiration.

To consult Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC, one of the best Tampa Bay cardiac specialists, please call (813) 344-0934 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.


Disclaimer: The contents of this website are for general educational purposes only. All content and media on the Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC website does not constitute professional medical advice nor is the information intended to replace the services of Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC or other qualified medical professionals. If you believe you are having a medical emergency, call 911 immediately. 


The content, views, and opinions communicated on this website do not represent the views of Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk. Although this website contains links to other medical websites, this is strictly for informational purposes. Jesal V. Popat, M.D., FACC is not responsible nor does the medical practice approve of the content featured on any third party linked websites referenced on this website.

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