Friday, October 24, 2008

Exercise for a Healthy Heart

How Do I Get Started?
Before starting an exercise program, talk to your doctor about:

Medication changes.

New medications can greatly affect your response to exercise; your doctor can tell you if your normal exercise routine is still safe.

Heavy lifting.

Make sure that lifting or pushing heavy objects and chores such as raking, shoveling, mowing, or scrubbing aren't off limits. Chores around the house can be tiring for some people; make sure you only do what you are able to do without getting tired.

Safe exercises.

Get the doctor's approval before you lift weights, use a weight machine, jog, or swim.

What Type of Exercise Is Best?


slow lengthening of the muscles. Stretching the arms and legs before and after exercising helps prepare the muscles for activity and helps prevent injury and muscle strain. Regular stretching also increases your range of motion and flexibility.

Cardiovascular or aerobic:

steady physical activity using large muscle groups. This type of exercise strengthens the heart and lungs and improves the body's ability to use oxygen. Aerobic exercise has the most benefits for your heart. Over time, aerobic exercise can help decrease your heart rate and blood pressure at rest and improve your breathing.

Strengthening: repeated muscle contractions (tightening) until the muscle becomes tired. For people with heart failure, many strengthening exercises are not recommended. (See below)

What Are Examples of Aerobic Exercises?
Aerobic exercises include: walking, jogging, jumping rope, bicycling (stationary or outdoor), cross-country skiing, skating, rowing and low-impact aerobics or water aerobics.

How Often Should I Exercise?
In general, to achieve maximum benefits, you should gradually work up to an aerobic session lasting 20 to 30 minutes, at least three to four times a week. Exercising every day or every other day will help you keep a regular aerobic exercise schedule.

What Should I Include in My Program?

Every exercise session should include a warm-up, conditioning phase and a cool-down.


This helps your body adjust slowly from rest to exercise. A warm-up reduces the stress on your heart and muscles, slowly increases your breathing, circulation (heart rate) and body temperature. It also helps improve flexibility and reduce muscle soreness. The best warm-up includes stretching, range of motion activities and the beginning of the activity at a low intensity level.


This follows the warm-up. During the conditioning phase, the benefits of exercise are gained and calories are burned. Be sure to monitor the intensity of the activity (check your heart rate). Don't over do it.


This is the last phase of your exercise session. It allows your body to gradually recover from the conditioning phase. Your heart rate and blood pressure will return to near resting values. Cool-down does not mean to sit down! In fact, do not sit, stand still or lie down right after exercise. This may cause you to feel dizzy or lightheaded or have heart palpitations (fluttering in your chest). The best cool-down is to slowly decrease the intensity of your activity. You may also do some of the same stretching activities you did in the warm-up phase.

What Is the Rated Perceived Exertion Scale?
The Rated Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale is used to measure the intensity of your exercise. The RPE scale runs from 0-10. The numbers below relate to phrases used to rate how easy or difficult you find an activity. For example, 0 (nothing at all) would be how you feel when sitting in a chair; 10 (very, very heavy) would be how you feel at the end of an exercise stress test or after a very difficult activity.


Brate said...

Exercise has been really a very important factor for the people of today’s generation. And especially exercise really helps heart patient more than anything. I have got an enlarged heart because of inability of pumping. I was also having a defective valve, which led me to be a sinus tachycardia patient. I got to know at my medical checkup at my campus. And being very young to face all this, I was really frightened regarding all these health issues. I need someone to monitor my health and keep an eye on my health as well as daily health issues. Getting an internist hired was just not the solution to the problem. I got to know about some kind of wellness program from elite health ( Medical Service Provider Company. I got enrolled in it, as they were providing me 24/7 access to the doctors. Especially, I got one unexpected and quite a surprising opinion from their health executive who used to monitor my health and guide me the appropriate dietary solutions. He told me to have a regular exercise daily. I thought he is really mad, or planning to kill me. Ha Ha. .. But my regular exercise! Not so heavy, the results came out to be positive. I was really feeling better and healthier as compared to previous conditions. So, indirectly, exercise has really helped me suppress my health issues, especially the problems we generally face while having heart failure.