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Exercise as rehabilitation support after a heart attack

Key points:

  • Determine with your doctor the exercises that are best for you in your cardiac rehabilitation.
  • A cardiac rehabilitation program lasts on average between eight and 12 weeks.
  • The right exercise will help reduce the risk of having another heart attack.

Previously, people who had suffered a heart attack were advised not to exercise, but after several clinical trials it has been shown that doing light to moderate exercise, three to five days a week, not only improves the patient’s quality of life but it also reduces the risk of suffering another heart attack or increasing morbidity and mortality.

If you or someone you know has suffered a heart attack, it is important that you perform a stress test before starting any type of exercise, says Dr. Paulina del Regil, a rehabilitation specialist at ABC Medical Center, to confirm if your heart is fit and it is safe for you to perform the physical effort.

Exercise recommendations after suffering a heart attack

The most recommended type of exercise for these situations is aerobic training, in which you can use a treadmill or bicycle with a backrest (recumbent) and a cycle ergometer, you can also choose to take a 30-minute walk or even calisthenics with a no-load strengthening program.

Dr. del Regil indicates that a situation that you must consider when training after a heart attack is not to overtrain, that is, you must be careful not to overexert yourself so that the heart is not affected.

We can measure our degree of effort subjectively through the Borg scale, says the expert; this is a scale that allows us to have a quick perception of the effort we are making. To apply it, we simply have to speak without having trouble breathing, if this happens, the effort is too much.

How long should I exercise?

Generally, a cardiac rehabilitation program consists of between eight and 12 weeks. One might think that by exercising you will maintain this lifestyle permanently, but the reality is that, if you don’t follow it, between one and three months your body loses all the benefits generated in the rehabilitation program.

That is why adherence is important so that you are really consistent with these exercises and this rehabilitation plan for the medium or long term, says Dr. del Regil.

Follow-up with your cardiac rehabilitation doctor is very important, in this way you will be able to regulate your progression so that your training has more options, this way it will be more fun and attractive.

This content is for informational purposes and does not replace any consultation with the specialist. At the ABC Medical Center’s Cardiovascular Center, we can provide you with specialized care. 

Source:
https://youtu.be/2rbaq9Pm_Lc

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