When you have
heart failure, it's very important to exercise
regularly. If you are not already active, your doctor may want you to
start an exercise program.
what's safe for you depends on how bad your
heart failure is. But even if you can only do a small amount of
exercise, it's better than not doing any exercise at
- Have a checkup before you
start an exercise program. Your doctor probably will do an
electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) and
exercise stress test to see how much activity your
heart can safely handle.
- Your doctor may recommend a cardiac rehabilitation
("rehab") program at a local hospital or clinic. Rehab will give you education and support that help you build new healthy habits, such as exercise.
- Start out slowly,
exercising for only a few minutes at a comfortable rate. Then each day,
slowly try to increase the length of time and the
intensity of your workout.
- You should not exercise during times
when your heart failure is not under control.
- Set goals that you
can reach. If you expect too much, you are likely to get
discouraged and stop exercising.
How can you get started on an exercise program?