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    Heart Failure Health Center

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    Heart Failure: Activity and Exercise

    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.

    Of course, 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 all.

    • Have a checkup before you start an exercise program. Your doctor probably will do an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) and maybe an 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.gif  How can you get started on an exercise program?

    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical ReviewerRakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
    Specialist Medical ReviewerStephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology

    Current as ofAugust 13, 2014

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 13, 2014
    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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