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Mitral Valve Regurgitation and Exercise - Topic Overview

If you have mild to moderate mitral valve regurgitation (MR) and do not have symptoms, you likely do not have to limit your physical activity.

If you do have symptoms or if you have irregular heart rhythms or changes in your heart size or function, you may need to be cautious about physical activity. But regular activity, even low-level activity such as walking, will help keep your heart healthy. If you want to start being more active, talk to your doctor first. Your doctor will help you create a safe exercise plan.

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If you have questions or concerns about what physical activities are appropriate for you, talk to your doctor. Even with MR, you may be able to develop an exercise plan that suits your lifestyle.

If you have severe MR, you may need to limit your physical activity.

  • If you have no symptoms and your left ventricle functions normally, you can likely participate in normal physical activity and exercise without limitation.1
  • If you have mild to moderate regurgitation and normal heart function, you can participate in normal physical activity.
  • If you have mild to moderate regurgitation and reduced heart function, ask your doctor what level and type of activity is safe for you. You might be able to exercise at low or moderate aerobic levels such as walking or swimming.

You may need to avoid isometric exercise, which is exercise that uses muscle contraction to strengthen and tone your muscles. Isometric exercise usually involves pushing against resistance, as in weight lifting. These types of exercises can elevate your blood pressure, thereby increasing the force against which your heart must pump blood. As a rule, avoid activities that involve sudden physical exertion at a level that is significantly greater than that required for your normal activities.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 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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