Having a heart attack is a life-altering event. It can change everything in the blink of an eye. One of the things that may change after your heart attack is your exercise regimen. This article is going to briefly go over what may happen to you and your ability to exercise after you’ve had a myocardial infarction. Of course, you must always check with your doctor before engaging in any exercise program.
You May Be Prescribed Cardiac Rehabilitation
People who have had a heart attack may be prescribed cardiac rehabilitation. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the goal of cardiac rehabilitation is to get a patient up to a 30 minute sustained walk. Cardiac Rehabilitation is performed under the supervision of a physician or nursing staff to ensure that the patient doesn’t suffer another cardiac event.
In the cardiac rehabilitation protocol outlined by the Cleveland Clinic, patients begin with a three-minute slow walk and they gradually build up to a moderate pace. Patients will work up to a sustained 10-minute walk with an extensive cool down. Cardiovascular work done in a cardiac rehab program is not done with high intensity.
All cardio that is completed under a rehab program is done while the patient has the ability to complete the talk test. The talk test is the patient’s ability to have a normal conversation while exercising. If for some reason the patient becomes winded or cannot have a casual conversation, the exercise pace is reduced. The speed is adjusted so the patient has the ability to speak with ease.
Your Physician Will Monitor Your Progress
When you are successful in completing your cardiac rehabilitation program and you are able to walk for 30 minutes sustained, you may be ready for additional exercise. Your physician will want to monitor you closely before you begin additional strength training exercise program.
If you do get the OK from your heart doctor to begin a strength training exercise program the American Heart Association recommends that you start with your body weight. Completing bodyweight exercises will allow your heart to get used to the movements and the added stress of functional strength training.
Once you have started and are comfortable with sets of 12 repetitions at body weight you can move up slowly in weight. The key is to make sure that you progress slowly enough not to overtax your heart.
Are There Any Exercises I Should Avoid?
The American Heart Association recommends walking and strength training as the primary means of exercises for people who’ve had a heart attack. One thing that the American Heart Association does want you to steer clear of is hot yoga.
The additional heat may cause unneeded stress on your heart. This can lead to another cardiac incident. Gentle yoga is fine however, walking and strength training are going to be your best bet for exercise post heart attack.
High temperature exercises can place additional stress on your whole cardiovascular system. Because of the additional stress, you may want to be careful when exercising outside in high temperatures.
If you live in a hot climate, make sure that your cardiovascular workout is completed either in early morning or indoors. It is important to safeguard against overheating after a heart attack. If you have concerns about exercising in the heat, it is best to consult your physician or cardiac doctor.
Is Exercise Necessary?
The American Heart Association recommends exercise as a primary means to gain energy after a cardiac event like a heart attack. Patients who are prescribed statins and other heart medications often find that they lack energy. Exercise is going to be one of the primary means to regain your strength and energy after a heart attack.
While exercise can be scary after a heart attack, it is important to build up your exercise tolerance so that you can have a healthy heart for the rest of your life. Completing cardiac rehabilitation and then maintaining an active lifestyle is going to be your best bet when recovering from a heart attack.
Getting your life back after suffering from a heart attack can be challenging, let our dedicated caregivers give you the support you need. Contact us 877-227-3890 .