After having a heart attack it is very important to take care of yourself and to respect all the indications given by the doctors. Many patients wonder if they can do cardio exercises after a heart attack. If you have the same doubt, read this article.
Can you do cardio after a heart attack?
The answer is yes. However, we must pay attention to important aspects such as the type of exercise, the intensity and frequency of the physical activity we intend to carry out. And what does this depend on? Basically from the state of the heart after the heart attack.
As a first step, the doctor will perform all the tests he deems appropriate to know the situation of the heart system. It will analyze the status of the myocardium, if there are arrhythmias under exertion or if you suffer from myocardial ischaemia.
If all these tests are positive and the subject does not have any of the diseases listed above, the doctor can give a positive opinion and you can start doing cardio.
It is important to remember that the benefits for those who exercise are many, especially for those who have had a heart attack. For this specific case, doing sports will reduce the risk of a second episode (the second heart attack is more frequent than previously believed) and will allow you to control blood pressure.
People who have suffered a heart attack live with the fear that it will happen again. This is why many people begin to lead sedentary lives thinking they are avoiding other “shocks” to the cardiovascular system.
This is a misconception that should be changed based on the existing literature on the subject and by consulting the cardiologist. In reality, what the heart needs is to strengthen itself. How to do? With moderate cardio exercises.
Playing sports brings benefits not only physically, but also emotionally. This can only be good for those who have suffered a heart attack. Many believe that after such an episode life is over. In fact, when you train with other people you socialize more and gradually feel safer and less afraid.
Doing cardio after a heart attack: recommended workouts
Once your doctor has determined that you can play sports after a heart attack, the next step is to “find out” what activity you can or want to do. The cardiologist will be able to advise you on the physical activities that best suit your particular situation, especially with regard to intensity and periodicity.
If you’ve never trained before (or haven’t trained in a long time), it’s important to start slowly. Exercise that does not exceed 20 to 30 minutes twice a week is a good start. Going for a walk in the park with your dog could be a great idea.
The best sport you can do is one that moves your muscles and makes your heart work (slightly). Once you have started walking and are feeling good, you can increase the intensity of your workout by doing some jogging or, if you feel like it, you can do some medium distance runs. In this way you will also train the respiratory system and the circulatory system allowing the blood to circulate correctly in the body.
Another option would be to ride a bike, both outdoors and in the gym. We advise you to start with the cycle paths and then, if you want, to do more challenging off-piste with the mountain bike . You can also join a ballroom dance school, do Zumba at home or dance salsa with your partner… Besides doing cardio activities, you’ll have fun!
Swimming, of course, is one of the most recommended activities after a heart attack. It can be associated with other sports or you can do water aerobics .
The important thing about exercising after a heart attack is that you have fun and don’t ask too much of your body. At some point you can choose a discipline you like best or intensify the workouts of the one you are practicing. The important thing is to start gradually and pay attention to the signals that the body sends us.