Many people worry about the safety of exercise if they have a heart condition The natural reaction is to avoid vigorous exercise so you don’t damage your heart more, but the reality is that inactivity leads to poorer heart function and earlier death. It’s much more dangerous to be sitting on a couch doing nothing than exercising at a suitable level.
The heart is a muscle. Like any other muscle in the body, it gets stronger with exercise. There are many reasons why regular exercise needs to be an important part of your life even with a heart condition.
Developing the confidence to exercise again is one of the most common issues for people with a heart condition. One of the most effective ways of increasing your confidence is to join a cardiac rehab programme. Exercising with a support person such as an Exercise Professional with experience in Heart Conditions can boost your confidence and motivate you.
Depending on your heart condition, medication and previous fitness level will dictate what and how much exercise you should start with. Like any person starting to exercise or resuming exercise after a cardiac event it is advised to get clearance from your Cardiologist or Doctor.
I have had personal experience of heart issues, when in 2017, training for a half marathon I was unable on 2 occasions to continue my training feeling totally drained of energy while out for a run. After the second episode I made an appointment with my doctor and ended up in hospital with what was finally diagnosed as Atrial Fibrillation. Since then and with the OK from my cardiologist I still run but with a modified program to suit my condition. I have had 2 minor incidents since the initial events and stopped my exercise as soon as I realised it was happening, recovering not long after. Luckily I am not on any medication, but my AF will not go away and could start at any time. I just need to exercise with care and caution and listen to my body.
My diagnosis has made me more aware of the issues related to exercising with heart conditions.
All the research points to continuing to exercise at a level and type that suits the individual to maintain and also improve heart health.
Information on exercise with a heart condition can be found on the Heart Foundation web site. Or you could give me a call I am happy to help. Me running the Omokoroa Coastal Challenge 10km