Exercise And Heart Failure: 4 Tips For Staying Active With Heart Disease

Exercise is beneficial for just about everyone, even those with heart failure. If you have heart failure, your cardiologist will likely want you to engage in some sort of activity once you're able to do so. Staying active not only hastens your recovery, but it makes your heart more efficient, which can improve your heart failure symptoms. However, you probably won't be able to do all of the things you could before heart disease, and you have to be careful about incorporating activity into your schedule. Following are four tips for staying active if you have heart failure. 

Start with Rehab

If you have heart disease and you want to get more active, you have to start slowly. You can't put too much pressure on your heart at once. A good way to know how much you can do safely is to start with cardiac rehab. A rehab specialist can help you figure out what sorts of activities you can do without putting too much strain on your heart. As you continue to move, you will be able to do more. If at any time you're not sure how much activity your heart can handle, talk to your doctor. 

Don't Bear Down

Sudden bursts of activity or strenuous activities that require you to hold your breath or bear down are not good for your heart if you have heart failure. Avoid doing things, such as lifting heavy weights, that will place undo pressure on your cardiovascular system. Light strength training may be acceptable as long as it is cleared by your doctor. However, you should never do any activity that causes you to strain. 

Exercise Indoors

Extreme weather conditions are not ideal for people with heart failure. Cold temperatures can interfere with circulation, which can decrease blood flow to your muscles. It it's too hot or humid out, you may tire more quickly and/or find it difficult to breathe. For this reason, it's always a good idea to exercise in a controlled indoor environment. 

Watch for Warnings

Listen to your body while you're exercising and watch for warning signs. If you become too tired and short of breath or if you are sweating more than usual, stop exercising and talk to your doctor. If you experience any sort of chest pain or palpitations, call for medical help immediately. 

Exercise with heart failure is not only possible, it is recommended in most cases. If you want to get more active, talk to your doctor today about activities that you can do. Contact a clinic like Temecula Valley Cardiology to learn more.