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Heart Arrhythmias and Exercise - Topic Overview

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.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 14, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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