Heart Disease: Exercising for a Healthy Heart
When you have Reference coronary artery disease Opens New Window, it is very important to exercise regularly. If you aren't already active, your doctor may want you to begin an exercise program. Ask your doctor about taking part in a cardiac rehab program. Rehab can help you be more active and make lifestyle changes that can lead to a stronger heart and better health.
Even if you can only do a small amount of exercise, it is better than not doing any exercise at all.
- Talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program. Your doctor may do an Reference electrocardiogram Opens New Window (ECG or EKG) and possibly an Reference exercise stress test to assess how much activity your heart can safely handle.
- After you start exercising, stop your activity immediately if you experience chest pain, feel faint or lightheaded, or become extremely out of breath.
- Start an exercise program, such as walking, cycling, or jogging. Try to do Reference moderate activity Opens New Window on most, preferably all, days of the week. Aim for a goal to exercise for at least 2½ hours a week.
- Exercise can help lower the chance of a heart attack.
- A complete exercise program consists of aerobic exercise, strength training, and stretching.
- Set goals you can reach. If you expect too much, you are likely to become discouraged and stop exercising.
- Reference Coronary Artery Disease
- Reference Fitness: Getting and Staying Active
- Reference Heart Attack and Unstable Angina
- Reference Women and Coronary Artery Disease
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: April 6, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference John A. McPherson, MD, FACC, FSCAI - Cardiology