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ASK YOUR DOCTOR HOW EXERCISE CAN HELP AFTER A HEART ATTACK.

A cardiac rehabilitation exercise program may help you recover from a heart attack.

Doctors normally recommend two types of exercise for heart attack survivors—aerobic cardiovascular exercise and resistance (strength) training. Be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin any exercise regimen or routine.

START WITH AEROBIC CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE

Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and lungs. Your doctor can recommend the exact type and intensity of aerobic cardiovascular exercise you should do. Typically, workouts begin at a low intensity and gradually build to a more intense level.

THEN, MOVE UP TO RESISTANCE (STRENGTH) TRAINING

As you become healthier, your doctor or therapist may introduce resistance training such as calisthenics, free weights, machines, and other types of equipment. When properly described and supervised, resistance training may help with muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular function, metabolism, coronary risk factors, and psychosocial well-being.

HOW TO GET STARTED EXERCISING AFTER A HEART ATTACK

If you don’t quite feel ready to jump right in, a great way to start exercising is to fit it into your daily life. For example:

  • Get up during TV commercials – even if it’s just to make a quick lap around the living room, any movement can be a great start
  • Take the long way – add a few extra steps as you pick up today’s mail, take out the recycling or even bring in the groceries. It all adds up!
  • Try a sit/stand desk at work – switching from standing to sitting throughout during your workday adds additional opportunities to move

And no matter what, be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an exercise routine.

THE HEART HEALTH RISK TOOL1

LEARN YOUR RISK OF A HEART ATTACK OR STROKE

Do you know your risk factors?2 Find out and get a personalized heart-healthy action plan to share with your doctor.

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HEART ATTACK SURVIVOR STORIES