Lynn Swassing was just 48 years old, the mother of two sons in high school
and one daughter in college, when she had a heart attack in 1987. She
underwent quadruple bypass surgery and was hospitalized for nearly six
Every single day, at some point, the hospital had an exercise specialist at
the foot of my bed, she recalls. They told me, if you don't get active, you
won't make it.
No way,was Swassing's first thought. The full-time mom had never been on a
treadmill in her life, and she...
What types of activities should I try, and what should I avoid?
Should I time when I take my medications around my exercise schedule?
Should I take my pulse while I exercise? What pulse rate should I aim for?
Are there any warning signs I should watch out for?
What You’ll Do
New to exercise? It helps to work with a certified fitness trainer at first. If you have heart problems, ask your cardiologist for a referral.
Cardio (aerobic exercise). This makes your heart beat faster. It also lowers your blood pressure. Depending on what your doctor okays, you could:
Strength training tones and builds up your muscles. Heavy weights may raise your blood pressure short term. So stick with lighter weights and just lift them more times. Try hand weights, weight machines at a gym, resistance bands, or your own body weight.
A good approach is to do several sets of each exercise, and then let those muscles rest a day or two between sessions.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Workout
If you’re an exercise newbie, you’ll get the most from your workout if you follow these simple rules:
Start slow. The American Heart Association recommends you work up to exercising on most days of the week. The more exercise you can do, the healthier you -- and your heart -- will be. But any amount helps your health.
Build up gradually. Little by little, make your workouts longer or tougher over time. You should be able to talk during your workout. If you can't, it's probably too intense for you.