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.
Lisa Wysocky was having a bad week even before she landed in the emergency room one afternoon in July 2009.
The previous day she had learned that her adult son, Colby, had died of an overdose after struggling with mental illness. She then spent the night on her bedroom floor with pain that she suspected was from a heart attack. But she was too numb with grief to seek help immediately.
Once the Nashville, Tenn., resident went to the hospital, doctors began running tests. They told Lisa that instead...
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
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.