Exercise for heart disease patient

Moderate level of exercise prevents the development of heart disease provided it is recommended by your doctor.

Cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes mellitus, family history of heart disease and physical inactivity are the risk factors for heart disease. Regular exercise within a safe and correct intensity not only modified the risk factor of physical inactivity, it also increases ones good cholesterol, lowers blood pressure and controls blood glucose level.

Patient with heart disease should get clearance from doctor before he/she starts an exercise program. One should include proper warm up and cool down thus the heart able to accommodate to the changes in blood pressure during exercise. Walking is the best form of exercise. Some low risk patient with no excessive hypertension may combine aerobic exercise with some resistance training. It is important to monitor heart rate, blood pressure and any symptom of dizziness, cold sweat, chest pain or breathlessness during exercise. These parameters should return to pre-exercise levels after cool down.

Elderly benefit from regular exercise as well. However the type of exercise should not putting stress on the weak physical link, i.e. osteoarthritis knee patient should not do stepping as exercise, or low back pain patient should not do heavy weight lifting. In general high impact activities are avoided among elderly.

Should one have a higher risk of heart dysfunction or experience symptom mentioned above during exercise, doctor may refer patient to a cardiologist for a detail examination prior to a cardiac rehabilitation program.

Article contributed by Ng Lih Wing, Senior Physiotherapist, Rehabilitative Centre, Mount Alvernia Hospital.

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Note : Please note that health information is provided to supplement the care provided by your doctor. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.   Always seek the advice of your physician if you have any questions regarding a medical condition.

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