Talk to your doctor and get started.
Exercise boosts your heart and lungs, tones your muscles and lifts your mood. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults with chronic health conditions do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, or if that’s too much, engage in regular physical activity according to their abilities. “As a cardiologist, I want you to exercise,” says Dr. Martha Gulati, chief of cardiology at University of Arizona College of Medicine–Phoenix.
“Even people with heart conditions – I want you to exercise once an acute condition has been resolved, like having a heart attack or heart failure.” For anyone with an underlying heart condition, she says, the first step is talking with your cardiologist about what you can and cannot do.
“We want you to exercise, but we want you to exercise safely.” By discussing an individual plan with your doctor and following sensible precautions for certain conditions, you can stay physically active for better heart health.
Cardiac rehab after a heart attack
If you’re anxious about working out after a heart attack, cardiac rehabilitation is a reassuring way to get moving. Cardiac rehab is like going to a well-equipped gym that also offers medical monitoring, tailored training and fellow patients recovering from heart conditions.