Exercise and Activity for a Healthy Heart
Your heart is a muscle and just like any muscle, it has to be used to be strengthened. Cardiovascular fitness is an observable and predictable benefit of aerobic exercise training.
When you improve your physical fitness through aerobic exercise, you put less strain on your heart and blood vessels. When you are fit, you have the ability to carry out your daily tasks without undue fatigue and with ample energy to enjoy your leisure time.
You will sleep better and have improved digestion. Physical activity can make you feel better and decrease depression and anxiety. It will help you relax and feel less tense. Best of all, you are helping to reduce your risk of future heart problems.
Your physician and cardiac rehabilitation staff will prescribe an exercise program for you at each stage of your recovery.
General activity guidelines during recovery from a cardiac event:
- Gradually increase your return to usual activities.
- Don't push yourself by trying to do too much too soon.
- If you are feeling fatigued, it is OK to rest.
- Pace your activity with brief rest periods.
- You will probably be able to:
- Take short walks (ten to 15 minutes, twice a day)
- Climb stairs (pace yourself and rest when needed)
- Ride as a passenger in a car
As you regain your strength, it is common and beneficial to want to return to regular routines in and around your home. Household tasks should be performed in moderation at first, building gradually as your strength returns.
Your cardiac rehabilitation professionals can provide guidelines suited to your particular needs. A few general suggestions of where to begin might include:
- Housework such as light vacuuming and laundry
- Light to moderate yard work
- Light home repairs
Do the Stroll.
For starters, daily walks help control your weight, both by burning additional calories and by increasing the size of your working muscles (which in turn reduces the number of calories converted into body fat). Regular walks also reduce your risk of dying prematurely by significantly reducing your risk of dying from coronary artery disease or a heart attack.
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Disclaimer: The material on this Web site is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or fitness professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program or fat or weight reduction program. FitnessandFreebies.com takes no responsibility for individual results, or any claim made by a third party.