The heart muscle is a vital component of the human body; it pumps oxygenated blood through a network of arteries to the essential organs and tissues.
\When your heart isn't working correctly, you could face dangerous health complications. Heart disease describes various conditions that affect the valves or functioning of the heart.
Living with heart disease can be tricky, as the focus needs to be on keeping your heart working properly. Exercise may seem scary, but it's vital to your overall health and cardiac wellness.
At the Vein, Heart, and Vascular Institute, Dr. Hesham Fakhri and Dr. Octavio Cosme are expert cardiologists who help our patients understand heart disease. And they manage heart disease through medications, lifestyle changes, exercise, and interventional cardiology procedures.
Here’s what they have to say about working out when you have heart disease.
Exercising with heart disease
There are various advantages to exercising with heart disease. For instance, it keeps your weight down, which helps manage dangerous chronic health problems.
Getting regular physical activity when you have heart disease is crucial to prevent the condition from worsening. Other advantages to exercising with heart disease include:
- Strengthening the heart muscle
- Helping to lower blood pressure
- Decreasing cholesterol levels
- Keeping your bones strong and healthy
- Promoting good mental health
Exercise is a crucial aspect of your heart and total body health. But you must understand how to work out properly when you're living with heart disease.
Start slowly and realize your limitations. Before beginning any exercise program, talk to our team to ensure it's safe for your heart condition.
Tips for exercising with heart disease
As we noted above, exercise is crucial for staying healthy when you have heart disease. But you need to understand what types of exercise are best for your needs and how to work out properly.
We recommend the following tips for exercising if you’re living with heart disease:
Exercise at the same time each day
Setting an exercise time each day helps you stay on track and create a healthy habit for your heart. Work out before you get your coffee, or exercise when you get home from work.
Rest when you need to
Listen to your body when you have heart disease. While exercise is an excellent tool for overall health, it can harm you if you don't rest when you need to and take time to let your body reset.
Aerobics are best
Aerobics are an excellent exercise for heart health, especially if you're living with heart disease. These exercises make your heart and lungs work hard, improving blood flow and using oxygen more efficiently.
Warm up and cool down
Anyone who participates in an exercise should properly warm up before and cool down after physical activity. Your body needs the time to prepare for intense training and the appropriate cooldown to reset.
Aim for every day
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week or 75 minutes of intense cardio for optimal heart health. If you exercise every day, that’s about 22 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise daily.
Add in weights
Talk to our team before you start strength training. Lifting weights has numerous benefits for your overall health. It lets you stay in shape and fight other chronic health problems, but avoid heavy weights. Instead, stick to moderate intensity and only with medical approval.
Stop if you have symptoms
Know when to call it quits. If you’re exercising and experience any of the following symptoms, stop working out right away and seek treatment:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular pulse
When you're just starting to exercise, you may feel short of breath due to a change in your activity. But rest if you feel any of the above symptoms and seek medical care if they don't go away or worsen after you stop exercising.
To learn more about working out with heart disease, call our team today at one of our conveniently located offices in Tampa, Sun City, and Wesley Chapel, Florida. You may also request a consultation using our online booking tool.