A monitored exercise program, such as cardiac rehab, is usually advised for someone who has severe heart disease, is recovering from a heart attack or has had heart surgery. But if you have a minor, stable heart condition, or you have already gone through cardiac rehabilitation, your doctor may prescribe an exercise program that you can do on your own. Regular exercise can be safe and has many benefits. It can:
Follow these steps to make exercise safe and enjoyable:
1. See your doctor. Even if you have no symptoms, but have a heart condition such as coronary artery disease or high blood pressure, it's important to talk to your doctor before you start or increase your exercise level. Also, see your doctor if you're middle-aged or older, have other medical problems, haven't exercised in a while or plan to start a vigorous program. The doctor visit to talk about exercise should include a discussion of:
2. Warning signs. Before you start an exercise program, it's important to be aware of any symptoms your might have had that would make working out dangerous. Do not exercise, and call your doctor, if you have had any of these symptoms in the past:
3. Call 9-1-1 for:
4. Follow exercise guidelines regarding:
Is it safe?
You may worry that you'll have a heart attack or another problem while exercising. This is a normal worry. But rest assured that research shows complications during cardiac rehab programs are rare. Also, the overall risk of a cardiac event appears to be reduced in persons who are regular exercisers.
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