When you have suffered a heart attack, it’s understandable you may be a little cautious about returning to exercise. While it’s good for the heart to stay active, doing too much too soon could be detrimental.
It’s crucial to follow the advice of your cardiologist to ensure you make good exercise choices and can return to exercise safely. However, here are some general tips that you can follow.
Which exercises can I do after a heart attack?
Exercise plays a crucial role in recovery after a heart attack and for improving heart health. One study found that staying active in the first year after a myocardial infarction, led to a lower risk of readmission and reduced cardiovascular mortality.
It’s a good idea to start with low-impact exercises, which are gentler on your heart and body. Walking is an excellent choice, starting with short, leisurely walks and gradually increasing the duration and pace as your strength improves.
Swimming and cycling are also great options, providing cardiovascular benefits without putting too much strain on the heart. You can also try out light resistance training, such as using light dumbbells or resistance bands. This helps build up muscle strength without overexerting the heart.
It’s important to focus on exercises that you enjoy and feel comfortable with, ensuring a positive and sustainable approach to your recovery.
Exercises to avoid after a heart attack
While exercise is beneficial post-heart attack, certain types should initially be avoided. For example, high-intensity exercises, such as running or heavy weightlifting, can put too much strain on your heart. Similarly, competitive sports or activities that involve quick bursts of energy may put unnecessary stress on the heart.
Be cautious with activities like push ups that can lead to you holding your breath too. These types of exercises can increase blood pressure and place a strain on the heart. It’s best to avoid exercises that make you feel overly tired, dizzy, or short of breath. Listening to your body and respecting its limits is key in the recovery process.
Getting back into exercise safely
It’s best to gradually get back to exercise after a heart attack. It should also be monitored by a professional to ensure you aren’t doing too much too soon.
Begin with exercises that are low in intensity and duration, and slowly build up your aerobic fitness. You should also monitor your heart rate and breathing while exercising. If you feel any discomfort, such as chest pain, dizziness, or excessive shortness of breath, stop immediately and seek medical advice.
Before beginning any exercise routine, consult with your healthcare provider or a cardiac rehabilitation specialist. They can help you develop a personalised exercise routine that is tailored to your specific needs.
To ensure you get back to exercise safely after a heart attack, schedule an appointment with leading cardiologist Dr. Konrad Grosser. With expert guidance, you can navigate your path to recovery with confidence and care.