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Patient Education

Safe Exercise During Heart Attack Recovery

After a heart attack, it's important to get regular exercise. By exercising your heart, you lower your risk for future problems. But you need to make sure you're exercising safely. Here are some things to keep in mind as you get back on your feet. Of course, before starting any exercise plan, talk to your doctor.

Choose something you like

First, choose an activity you enjoy. Walking or riding a stationary bike are popular with many people. You could also try things like rowing or water aerobics. If you enjoy what you're doing, you're much more likely to keep doing it.

Ease into it

Ease into exercise. Start slowly. Try ten minutes a day at a pace that feels moderate but that doesn't leave you short of breath. If that's comfortable, try to add a minute or two every day. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. And be sure to cool down during the last few minutes.

Make it a habit

Make exercise a regular part of your life. It can help to schedule it at the same time every day. So make it a habit. When you exercise regularly, you get a bigger health benefit.

Stay safe

And finally, stay safe. Exercise with a friend so they can monitor you. If you're walking, stay close to home in case you have a problem. If you have shortness of breath, chest pain, irregular heart rhythms or other problems, stop exercising and tell your doctor. If you stay smart and follow your doctor's advice, you'll soon be on the road to better health.