Heart Arrhythmias and Exercise - Topic Overview
Tips for success
- Set realistic goals. If you expect too much, you are likely to become discouraged and stop exercising.
- Give yourself time. It can take months to get into the habit of exercising. After a few months, you may find that you are looking forward to it.
- Stay with it. It can be hard to follow an exercise plan. Try exercising with a friend-it is much easier to continue an exercise program if you are exercising with someone else.
- Reward yourself. Build in rewards along the way that help you continue your program.
- Start out slowly. Try parking farther away from the store or walk the mall before shopping. Over time, you will increase your ability to do more.
- Keep a record of your daily exercise. It is okay to skip a day now and then or to cut back on your exercise if you are too tired or aren't feeling well.
For more information, see:
Fitness: Getting and Staying Active.
Precautions when starting an exercise program
When starting an exercise program, keep the following precautions in mind:
- Pace yourself by alternating exercises. Rotate light workouts, such as short walks, with more strenuous exercises, such as low-impact aerobics or swimming.
- Avoid exercising outdoors in extreme temperatures or high humidity. When the weather is bad, try exercising indoors at a gym or walking at a mall.
- Avoid exercises that require or encourage holding your breath, such as push-ups, sit-ups, and heavy lifting.
- Do not take hot or cold showers or sauna baths after exercising. Moderate temperatures are best, because very hot or very cold temperatures can be dangerous.
- Ask your doctor about continuing your exercise program if your medicines change. New medicines can affect how you feel when you exercise.
- Do not take naps after exercise, because that reduces exercise tolerance.
- Take your pulse frequently or wear a heart rate monitor, and keep your pulse within the parameters your doctor sets. Watch your pulse when walking up hills or stairs.
- Make sure you adjust your exercise program if it is interrupted for more than just a couple of days. Gradually increase to your regular activity level as tolerated.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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Heart Arrhythmias and Exercise Topics