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.
If you want to give your family's daily diet a "heart health makeover," start with your kitchen. It stands to reason that how we fill our kitchen -- in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer -- sets the pattern for what we eat.
If you stock your kitchen with nutritious but flavorful whole foods, you and your family are more likely to eat a heart-smart diet and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
The American Heart Association recommends these tips for a heart-healthy diet:
Eat a diet...
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.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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