After a heart attack, the last thing you are probably thinking of is hitting the gym or exercising in general, but you really should. There is strong evidence to suggest that engaging in regular aerobic activity post-heart attack can help reduce the risk of death.
Many believe that exercising after a heart attack would be dangerous, as it puts stress on the heart. But in actuality, you aren’t damaging the heart, but you are strengthening it. One important note is that if you weren’t very active prior to a heart attack, post-heart attack isn’t the time to become an athlete, but you can gradually work your way into regular exercise carefully.
It is recommended that exercise after a heart attack should involve large muscle groups, mainly the legs, so activities like walking, biking, swimming, or jogging are all recommended. Unfortunately, exercises that involve sitting won’t offer many benefits.
Ideally, 30 minutes a day of aerobic activity is recommended post-heart attack. But exercise alone isn’t the only preventative measure to take to reduce your risk of another heart attack.
When it comes to exercise, you don’t need to necessarily hit a gym, either. You can take up activities which you already enjoy, like gardening or even cleaning your home. These are things that still strengthen your heart because you are moving.
The good thing about exercise is that you can do it with a partner or a group to keep each other motivated and keep you going.
It’s important that you incorporate other heart-healthy habits into your lifestyle to further strengthen and protect your heart. This means reducing stress, not smoking, sleeping well, and eating healthy.
If you’re worried about getting into an exercise routine post-heart attack, simply speak to your doctor about your options or work alongside a trainer.
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