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Getting regular exercise, regardless of age and underlying health conditions is always important. If you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, you may feel uncertain or even scared about exercising. Not only can physical activity improve your heart function and reduce the risk of future heart problems from arising, regular exercise can also strengthen your heart muscle and help you better manage your glucose and cholesterol levels. The physicians at AMS Cardiology are sharing the best exercises for heart health and tips to stay safe with a heart condition.
The Best Exercises for Heart Health
Ready to get your heart pumping? If you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, it’s best to take caution when exercising. While asking your physician about what will work best for you is a great place to start, certain exercises are recommended over others. These types of cardio exercises are best for someone with a heart condition:
- Walking – this aerobic activity is an easy exercise that can be done at least 3 to 4 times a week. Walking can strengthen your heart, ease joint pain, and even help boost immune function.
- Swimming – swimming is a great activity to boost heart health. Just 30 minutes a day has been shown to reduce heart disease by over 30% in women. It’s also a stress reducer, which is great for overall health.
- Running – light jogging can keep your heart strong. Your doctor may recommend alternating more cardio intense runs with an easier workout throughout the week to allow ample recovery to grow stronger.
- Weight training- weight training can build muscle mass and help burn fat while increasing the strength of your heart. Speak with your doctor to see what type of weight training will work best for you.
- Yoga – yoga is a great alternative to higher level physical activities when you’re exercising for your heart health. It’s ideal for muscle toning and the perfect exercise for heart health because your heart is always elevated.
Tips to Stay Safe While Exercising with a Heart Condition
When starting any new exercise, it’s always recommended to start slow. Pace yourself and know when too much is too much. Allow time to stretch and cool down before, during and after your exercise. Take necessary rest periods when you get too tired and stop if you become short of breath or overly fatigued. Keep a water bottle with you to stay hydrated. It’s also advisable to be mindful of the temperature. Exercising in extreme temperatures can cause you to tire more quickly or interfere with breathing habits. Try heading indoors to a mall or using a treadmill if you can’t walk or jog outside.
No matter what exercise you choose to do, it’s always best to speak with your physician first. Ask questions like “How much exercise can I do?” or “How often can I exercise each week?” to ensure you are at the correct level of fitness and physical condition. Strive to get in 30 minutes of light activity a day, five days a week. The doctors at AMS Cardiology are here to help you with all your cardiovascular needs, so don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.