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.
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