Exercise Tips for People with Heart Failure

August 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

Unless your is severe, your doctor will probably have you do some or physical activity.  This may sound odd if you have heard you should rest often and not get tired.

The type of exercise you will do will keep your body strong, but not overwork your heart.  Before you start any type of exercise, be sure your doctor says it is OK.

Your doctor may have you in a cardiac rehab program.  This program can teach you how to exercise.  You will learn how to go through the exercises safely and gain confidence in how much you can do.

If your heart failure is stable and your doctor gives you an exercise program, then some moderate exercises can be very helpful.  Some moderate exercises are:

  • Brisk walking
  • Riding a stationary bicycle
  • Swimming

Tips for Moderate Exercise

  • The best time to exercise is about 1 hour after eating or taking your medicines.
  • Stretch before you start and cool down after you exercise.
  • Stay away from hard exercises like running and lifting weights above 20 pounds.
  • Don’t exercise when it’s too hot or cold.  It’s best to exercise when the temperature is between 40º and 80º F and the humidity is low.
  • Start slowly and work up gradually.
  • Set goals you can reach without over working your heart.

If you have any chest pain, chest discomfort, shortness of breath that is not normal for you, dizziness or nausea, stop the exercise or physical activity.  Call your doctor if the symptoms don’t get better when you stop or you are worried about your well being.

Also, keep a record how tired you feel each day.  If you are too tired to get out of bed that day, or the day after you exercise, you need to cut down on how much exercise you are doing.

Tags: Dyspnea, exercise program, heart failure, exercise, heart disease

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