You may need to be cautious about physical activity if you have symptoms, irregular heart rhythms, or changes in your heart size or function. But regular activity, even low-level activity such as walking, will help keep your heart healthy. If you want to start being more active, talk to your doctor first. Your doctor will help you create a safe exercise plan.
You can feel your heart thudding away every time you put your hand to your chest, but do you have any idea what’s really going on in there or what keeps your heart ticking as it should? WebMD the Magazine asked Richard Krasuski, MD, director of Adult Congenital Heart Disease Services and a staff cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, to help explain some amazing and little-known facts about the human heart.
But if you have severe MR, you may need to limit your physical
People who have no symptoms and whose left
ventricle functions normally may participate in normal physical activity and
exercise without limitation.
People who have
mild symptoms, enlargement of the left ventricle, or
atrial fibrillation should limit their exercise to
activities that place low to moderate demands on the heart. Exercises such as
walking and swimming may be appropriate.
Any exercise program you
begin should advance gradually.
You should avoid isometric exercise, which is exercise that
uses muscle contraction to strengthen and tone your muscles. Isometric exercise
usually involves pushing against resistance, as in weight lifting. These types
of exercises can elevate your blood pressure, thereby increasing the force
against which your heart must pump blood. As a rule, avoid
activities that involve sudden physical exertion at a level that is
significantly greater than that required for your normal activities.
If you have questions or concerns about what physical activities are
appropriate for you, talk to your doctor. Even with MR, you may be able to
develop an exercise plan that suits your lifestyle.