It’s common that as you get older your exercise output declines. You might be finding other activities to take up your time or you could be looking for excuses to avoid the gym or that early morning walk. You could even have a health condition that prevents you from being more active. However, regular physical activity is beneficial for maintaining your health in a multitude of ways.
What if you have a heart condition though? You could be at risk of serious injury or worse if the proper steps and precautions aren’t taken.
According to a study published in the Medical Journal of Australia, there is evidence exercise is beneficial for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease. Yet, more than half of adult Australians, including those with cardiovascular disease, don’t get enough regular physical activity to counter the effects of cardiovascular disease.
How much exercise should you be doing if you have a heart condition?
The Heart Foundation recommends 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week for health benefits.
You can get that by simply walking around your favourite park or local area.
Moderate intensity activities are those that make you breathe harder, but you can still talk while you’re doing the activity (e.g. brisk walking, dancing, golf, household chores like vacuuming). If you huff and puff and you can’t talk easily then the activity might be a vigorous intensity activity.
It’s common for those who have a heart condition to feel nervous about engaging in physical activity again, so there are a few tips you can use to gradually get back into it:
The long- and short-term health benefits of exercise are extensive, and include: a lessening of breathlessness associated with heart failure and stroke, a reduction in recurrent angina symptoms, improved walking mobility among stroke survivors, and general improved quality of life.