"Does your bra really go up that high?" the TSA officer asked, running her hands along my chest. My boyfriend, Adam, and I were headed for a romantic getaway, and being held at airport security wasn't on our itinerary. "I have a pacemaker. That's a scar, not my bra," I said. "You're too young for that," she said.
While I'm not the only 26-year-old with a pacemaker, I'm the only one most security officers have seen. Of the pacemakers installed yearly, 84% are for people older than age 65. Only 6%...
Your cardiologist or regular doctor may have already talked with you about setting up an exercise routine and let you know what's safe for you to do. If not, ask them:
How much exercise can I do each day?
How often can I exercise each week?
What types of activities should I try, and what should I avoid?
Should I take my medication(s) at a certain time around my exercise schedule?
Should I take my pulse while exercising? What should it be?
What warning signs should I watch out for while exercising?
Types of Exercise
Your workout plan will generally include these two main kinds:
Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise. This is the type that benefits your heart most. Examples include walking, jogging, jumping rope, bicycling, skiing, skating, rowing, and aerobics or cardio classes. These strengthen your heart and lungs. Over time, aerobic exercise can help your blood pressure and improve your breathing, and then your heart won't have to work as hard during exercise.
Strength training. These exercises tone and build up your muscles. You may use hand weights, weight machines at a gym, or your own body weight. Typically, you do several sets of each exercise, and then let those muscles rest a day or two between sessions.
Stretching also helps. Do this gently, after you're done with your workout. Never stretch so far that it hurts, and don't stretch until you've warmed up.
You may want to work with a certified personal trainer, ideally one who has helped people who have heart disease, at least at first.