Exercises after Heart Attack

Benefit of Exercises after Heart Attack 

  • Exercises after heart attack decreases the heart’s need for oxygen. The heart can work more efficiently. The heart pumps fewer times while still meeting the body’s need for oxygen-rich blood.
  • Exercise reduces your triglyceride and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.
  • Exercise increases your HDL (good cholesterol) levels.
  • Exercise lowers blood pressure.
  • Exercise helps the body create tiny new blood vessels which bypass clogged or diseased blood vessels.
  • Exercise allows blood vessels to expand (dilate) during times when more blood flow is needed.
  • Exercise keeps the vessels clear of blood clots and plaque build-up.
  • Exercise reduces insulin resistance and blood sugar levels in persons with diabetes.
  • Exercise helps to manage weight.
  • Exercise reduces stress and improves your emotional well-being.
  • Exercise reduces risk of osteoporosis as well as colon and breast cancer.

Suitable Exercises after Heart Attack 

  1. Aerobic Exercise will help you return to an active lifestyle. This involves constant movement of the major large muscle groups, such as your legs and arms. For instance, walking or using a stationary bike allows your body to use oxygen more efficiently.
  2.  Resistance Training helps strengthen major muscle groups and helps burn more calories.

When to Stop Exercise Immediately by Heart Attack Patients It is important to know what is NOT normal. If you notice any of these symptoms, STOP exercising and call your local doctor:

  • Severe heart pain (angina)
  • Excessive shortness of breath or unable to talk
  • Excessive sweating
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent skipped beats
  • Dizziness, light-headedness
  • Nausea
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Cramping in your arms and legs

Check Intensity and Time for Exercises after Heart Attack. Three easy ways to check your response to exercise are as follows. The Talk Test and RPE scale are better ways to measure exercise intensity.

RPE Chart
  • The Talk Test. Choose a level of exertion that allows you to still talk while you exercise. You should be able to talk in short sentences, but will likely not be able to sing.
  • Heart Rate. Place your arm so that your palm is face up. Take the second and third fingers of your other hand and place them over the blood vessel as shown below. Gently feel for the pulse. Count your heart rate for 15 seconds. Multiply that number times. Your heart rate DURING EXERCISE should not be 30 beats per minute more than it was at rest. If your heart rate is below 50 or above 120 beats per minute while at rest, call your doctor.
  • RPE (Rating of Perceived Exertion). RPE is a measure of how hard you feel you are working. It is based on your muscle use, breathing, and overall feelings of effort. In most cases, you should aim for “somewhat hard” (11 to 14 on the scale) during exercise.


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