Being active when you have heart disease


Getting regular exercise when you have heart disease is important.

Exercise can make your heart muscle stronger. It may also help you be more active without chest pain or other symptoms.

Exercise may help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. If you have diabetes, it can help you control your blood sugar.

Regular exercise can help you lose weight. You will also feel better.

Exercise will also help keep your bones strong.

Always talk with your health care provider before starting an exercise program. You need to make sure the exercise you would like to do is safe for you. This is especially important if:

  • You recently had a heart attack.
  • You have been having chest pain or pressure, or shortness of breath.
  • You have diabetes.
  • You recently had a heart procedure or heart surgery.

Types of Exercise You Can Do

Your provider will tell you what exercise is best for you. Talk with your provider before you start a new exercise program. Also ask if it is okay before you do a harder activity.

Aerobic activity uses your heart and lungs for a long period of time. It also helps your heart use oxygen better and improves blood flow. You want to make your heart work a little harder every time, but not too hard.

Start slowly. Choose an aerobic activity such as walking, swimming, light jogging, or biking. Do this at least 3 to 4 times a week.

Always do 5 minutes of stretching or moving around to warm up your muscles and heart before exercising. Allow time to cool down after you exercise. Do the same activity but at a slower pace.

Take rest periods before you get too tired. If you feel tired or have any heart symptoms, stop. Wear comfortable clothing for the exercise you are doing. Read More