Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Exercise Tips for People with Heart Disease

If you’ve got heart disease it’s likely your doctor has already told you about the importance of exercise. However, you certainly don’t want to overexert yourself. Here are some tips from WebMD on effective yet safe strategies to keep in mind when you exercise.

Be sure any exercise is paced and balanced with rest.

Avoid encouraging isometric exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups. Isometric exercises involve straining muscles against other muscles or an immovable object.

Don't let the patient exercise outdoors when it is too cold, hot, or humid. High humidity may cause you to tire more quickly; extreme temperatures can interfere with circulation, make breathing difficult, and cause chest pain. Better choices are indoor activities such as mall walking.
Make sure your loved one stays hydrated. It is important to drink water even before you feel thirsty, especially on hot days.

Extremely hot and cold showers or sauna baths should be avoided after exercise. These extreme temperatures increase the workload on your heart.

Have your loved one steer clear of exercise in hilly areas. If he must walk in steep areas, ask him to slow down when going uphill to avoid working too hard. Have him monitor his heart rate closely.

If the patient's exercise program has been interrupted for a few days (for example, due to illness, vacation, or bad weather), ease him back into his routine. He should start with a reduced level of activity, and gradually increase it until he's back where he started.

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