Heart patients shouldn't exercise strenuously
A: Patients can participate in moderate intensity aerobic exercise. The best choices are those that utilize large muscle groups, such as swimming, cycling and walking. Resistance training also has its benefits.
Q: How should these exercises be amended for age or gender?
A: Optimal exercise levels are at about 60 to 70 percent of the maximal heart rate. This will vary according to age and gender. Prior injuries, medical history and fitness level are also important.
Q: Are there certain exercise plans or routines for people who have had heart attacks or strokes?
A: Exercise can be very beneficial for those with a history of heart attacks or strokes. The most important thing is to start slowly and gradually progress activity as tolerated. Starting slow with very light intensity is recommended. Shorter durations are also recommended initially. As people adjust and become accustomed to the exercise, the intensity can gradually be increased. You always want to check with your medical provider before starting or progressing an exercise routine.
Q: What are some resources patients can use to find appropriate exercises?
A: The American Heart Association has some good patient information. The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine is also another resource. Your individual medical provider is probably the best resource.
Q: What professional tips do you have for anyone looking to improve their blood pressure?
A: Blood pressure can be reduced with exercise, weight loss and a heart healthy/low sodium diet.
Q: What exercises should people with heart conditions avoid?
A: High intensity exercise is not recommended. While some resistance training is good, certain patients may need to avoid these exercises. Check with your medical provider for any questions on specific exercise routines because everyone is different, and not all exercise programs are appropriate for everybody.
Name: Dr. Christina Walker
Practice: Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, Kingwood Clinic: 2755 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Kingwood
Education: After completing medical school at the University of Chicago in 2004, Walker interned at Ohio State University, where she completed a residency in family medicine in 2007. The following year, she completed a fellowship in sports medicine at the University of Oklahoma at Tulsa.
Experience: She has worked at Kelsey-Seybold since 2010.
Mark DeHaven is a freelance writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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