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Exercise Precautions for Heart Disease Patients

There are many precautions someone with heart disease must keep in mind when developing an exercise program. If you have any questions, contact the patient's health care provider.

Before you start to exercise, talk with your doctor about what type of exercise is right for you. Also ask about a safe heart rate range. Your doctor may even recommend a cardiac rehabilitation program. The following are some typical recommendations that may be made: Stop the exercise if you become overly fatigued or short of breath, and discuss the symptoms with your doctor.

If you feel pain: 

  • Don't ignore it. If you have chest pressure  or or pain in your chest, neck, arm, jaw, or shoulder, stop exercising and call 911.  
  • If you have pain anywhere else in the body, stop exercising. Performing an activity while in pain may cause stress or damage on to the joints.

Stop the exercise and call your doctor or seek emergency medical help if you:

  •  Have frequent skipped beats or irregular heartbeat
  • Feel weak
  • Are dizzy or lightheaded
  • Are nauseous
  • Have blurred vision
  • Have muscle cramps
  • Have excessive shortness of breath
  • Are profusely sweating
  • Have any other symptoms that cause concern


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on May 25, 2013

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