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Before we begin YOU MUST TALK TO YOUR PHYSICIAN!

Man-Talking-to-Doctor

Your physician should your body in and out regarding your heart condition along with any other associated conditions that which concerns your ability to perform exercise such as how well can you breathe, how well can you flex your joints, or how much exertion can you tolerate. Your list of medication can also factor into what kind of exercises you’ll be allowed to perform.

Here are some questions to ask

  • How much exercise can I do each day?
  • How often can I exercise each week?
  • What type of exercise should I do?
  • What type of activities should I avoid?
  • Should I take my medication(s) at a certain time around my exercise schedule?
  • Do I have to take my pulse while exercising?

 

Warning during exercise 

Chest-Pain-Causes

There are some precautions you must keep in mind when developing an exercise program:

  • Stop the exercise if you become overly fatigued or short of breath; discuss the symptoms with your doctor or schedule an appointment for evaluation.
  • Do not start the exercise if you are not feeling well or were very recently ill. Take time off for a day or few days until all the symptoms have subsided. If uncertain, check with your doctor first!
  • If you have persistent shortness of breath, rest, and call your doctor. The doctor may make changes in medications, diet, or fluid restrictions.
  • Stop the activity if you develop a rapid or irregular heartbeat or have heart palpitations. Check your pulse after you have rested for 15 minutes. If it’s above 120 beats per minute at rest, call your doctor.
  • If you experience pain, don’t ignore it. If you have chest pain or pain anywhere else in the body, do not allow the activity to continue. Stop the exercise and visit your doctor.

 

THE WORKOUT

(1) Breathing / meditation (5 -10 minutes in the morning, everyday) 

meditation_old

Sit comfortably at a good spot with good posture as the picture or you could sit at a chair at a steady position. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. You could play a calming music that lasts about 5 to 10 minutes such as classical music so that you could track the duration of your mediation while relaxing. Depending on what your body tolerates, breathe in and out. Think about how your sleep went and what you envision doing for the day. An alternative is to achieve tranquility by focusing on your breathing and allowing thoughts to come but releasing them immediately. This will stimulate your nerves and eventually reach a stable state.

You are ready to tackle your day. Pick a time that is good for you to exercise. Give yourself about 1.5 to 2 hours of complete freedom. Try to finish your workout 5-6 hours before sleep time.

 

For every other day i.e. Monday, Wednesday, Friday

follow the sequence either at a nice wide space indoors or a sunny outdoor location at a backyard or a park.

 

(2) Warm up (5 minutes)

This includes breathing while stretching and simple walking.

Click to zoom in.  Only do the stretches that you can perform.

Click to zoom in.
Only do the stretches that you can perform.

(3)  Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise (THE ACTUAL EXERCISE) (5-10 if beginner, 15-20 minutes for intermediate, 25-30 minutes for proficient, 45-1 hr for advanced)

Pick whatever activity allows you to keep the heart running on a nearly constant basis for the duration of the exercise.

  • Walking, speed walking, hiking
  • Jogging
  • Biking (indoor or outdoor)
  • Swimming, water aerobic
  • Rowing and low-impact aerobics (i.e. kayaking)
  • yoga, tai chi, dancing

older_couple_biking

 

(4) Cool down (5 minutes of simple walking, 5 minutes of stretching)

Walk for 5 minutes to slow the heart rate and breathing down. Repeat the stretches done during the warm up.

 

(5) Journaling (everyday) 

This can be done right after the workout to focus on the workout and how your body is feeling. Write about how you felt and how far you went with the workout. You could wait until bed time to make simple entries about how the day went and whatever you liked or didn’t like about the day.

Writing

 

(6) Breathing / meditation (5 -10 minutes in the evening, everyday) 

Repeat the morning’s routine. This is a time to feel proud of what you have done for yourself whether it was exercise day, rest day, or just about anything that happened. This will prepare the body to wind down for a good night’s sleep which will do the restoration process from the exercise so that your body will adapt and become stronger when you wake up.
(7) Sleep Hygiene
  • Keep the room very dark. 
  • Keep your phone or mobile devices away from you. 
  • Keep the room a bit cool but not cold. 
  • Do not watch TV before going to sleep. All electronic screen viewing should stop 90 minutes before going to bed. 
  • Read paper form books before sleeping if you wish. 
  • Wear blue light blocking glasses. 
  • Finish eating at least 3 hours before bed time. 
  • Avoid caffeine for at least 8 hours before bed time. 
  • Avoid alcohol before bed time if you can. 

 

Reference 

 

  1. Cardiac Conditions: Safe Exercise for Patients with Heart Disease (Safe Exercise for Patients with Heart Disease) http://www.nationaljewish.org/healthinfo/conditions/cardio/exercise-and-heart-disease/
  2. Cleveland Clinic – Heart Failure Exercise/Activity Guidelines (Cleveland Clinic http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/heart_failure/hic_heart_failure_exercise-activity_guidelines.aspx

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