A cardiac attack can lead to fatal damage in humans and the ones who survive are considered very lucky. The survival rate for heart attack in the US is 90%. Though the survival chances are high, the heart sustains a great amount of damage as a result of the attack. It is up to the survivor to take necessary precautions to maintain the heart’s health and prevent the onset of another attack. A balanced diet followed by heart-healthy exercises must be followed to maintain the heart’s health.
What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?
Cardiac rehabilitation is an outpatient program for heart attack survivors to educate them on heart health and support. The program is designed to aid the patients physically and mentally after a heart attack. The patients are also enlightened about the workout and exercises to be done after an attack. Survivors who attend cardiac rehab show significant improvement in maintaining their heart health. Suggest with your healthcare professional before enrolling in cardiac rehab.
When to Start Exercise After a Heart Attack?
A person couldn’t start with their normal lifestyle after a heart attack. Recovery takes time and it depends on the extent of the attack and how much it affects the body. Gentle exercise like simple stretches or short walks is advisable to start with – after 10 days of the attack. It is important to note that the exercise’s impact and duration can only be increased gradually.
Exercises for Heart Attack Patients
Heart patients should remember to take it easy when it comes to exercises. Regular exercises can improve heart health and can also prevent another attack. Some of the most common exercises are:
- Walking or Jogging
Walking or jogging is one of the easiest and most effective exercises recommended for heart attack survivors. It is a simple exercise that everyone can carry out and can provide good results. Survivors should take it slow and take short walks or slow jogs at the initial stages – which can then be extended gradually.
Swimming is a refreshing aerobic sport for heart attack patients. This leisure activity reduces stress in the body and mind. Swimming strengthens the heart muscles, increases blood circulation, and maintains stable blood pressure. It is dangerous to get the body overheated as it can raise blood pressure and damage the heart further. So swimming reduces the body heat and also is a great heart-healthy exercise. It is recommended to go for a short swim five times a week for heart patients.
Cycling, be it outdoor or indoor is an exercise suitable for heart patients from all age groups. It reduces the blood fat levels and strengthens the heart – preventing the organ from another attack. Cycling regularly can also improve our mental health.
Yoga is considered a great form of exercise as it is an effective stress-buster and has several benefits for the body. It is a practice that enhances the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of the body. Practicing yoga is also one of the most gentle exercises and heart attack survivors can easily start their exercise routine with yoga. It relieves stress and improves blood circulation, proving to be an effective exercise for the heart and the body.
- Breathing Exercises
Exercises to strengthen our breathing muscles are a much-recommended activity for heart attack patients. A simple inhale and exhale exercise for five minutes can result in great improvement in heart health and also contributes to the chances of preventing another attack.
What Not to Do After a Heart Attack?
Heart patients should keep these points in mind and restrain themselves from doing these activities as they can further damage the heart.
- Do not start any type of exercise without consulting your healthcare professional.
- Maintain your body temperature. Overheating of the body can increase blood pressure.
- Quit consumption of tobacco and alcohol.
- Restrain yourself from high-impact activities (weight-lifting, heavy exercises).