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Exercise for a Healthy Heart


Exercise Precautions

There are many precautions to take when developing an exercise program. Here are some tips.

  • Stop the exercise if you become overly fatigued or short of breath; discuss the symptoms with your doctor or schedule an appointment for evaluation.
  • Do not exercise if you are not feeling well or have a fever. You should wait a few days after all symptoms disappear before restarting the exercise program, unless your doctor gives other directions.
  • If you experience shortness of breath or increased fatigue during any activity, slow down or stop the activity. Elevate your feet when resting. If you continue to have shortness of breath, call your doctor. The doctor may make changes in medications, diet, or fluid restrictions.
  • Stop the activity if you develop a rapid or irregular heartbeat or have heart palpitations. Check your pulse after you have rested for 15 minutes. If it's still above 120-150 beats per minute, call the doctor for further instructions.

If you experience pain:

  • Don't ignore it. If you have chest pain or pain anywhere else in the body, stop doing the exercise. Performing an activity while in pain may cause stress or damage to the joints.

Stop the exercise and rest if you:

  • Have chest pain
  • Feel weak
  • Are dizzy or lightheaded
  • Have unexplained weight gain or swelling (call the doctor right away)
  • Have pressure or pain in the chest, neck, arm, jaw, or shoulder
  • Have any other symptoms that cause concern

Call the doctor if you have symptoms that do not go away.

View the full table of contents for the heart failure guide.


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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Ephraim K Brenman, DO on August 25, 2012
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