Exercise Will Protect Your Heart – Can I Exercise After a Heart Attack?
Exercising regularly is known to reduce the risk of heart disease. It makes the heart muscle both stronger and thicker, which enables it to pump the same volume of blood around the body with fewer beats. This explains why many athletes have a remarkably slow heart rate. All evidence shows that people who exercise regularly and vigorously have a much lower chance of having a heart attack and, if they do have one, they are more likely to survive it.
During strenuous exercise the volume of blood flowing into the heart increases. The greater volume of blood stretches the muscle, and the muscle fibers respond with a stronger, more powerful, contraction. The heart’s muscle bulk increases and its blood vessels proliferate, improving the muscle’s blood supply. In time, the heart becomes more efficient and pumps a greater volume of blood with each stroke, allowing the heart rate to slow down.
Regular exercise also reduces the amount of unhealthy cholesterol in your blood stream. This means that you have a lower risk of angina or of a heart attack. Another reason exercise is good for your heart is that, in conjunction with eating a healthy diet, it helps control your weight. Exercise burns up extra calories, allows a much wider food selection, uses up fat from your body’s reserves, and increases the level at which energy is burned in your tissues at rest, which helps you use excess calories when you are not exercising.
People who are more than 20 percent overweight are more susceptible to high blood pressure and thus much more likely to have heart disease develop.
Exercising regularly after a heart attack has been claimed by some experts to reduce your risk of having another one. Today most doctors allow you to start daily activities (such as walking short distances in your room) within a few days of a heart attack, provided you do not have any complications such as heart failure or an irregular heartbeat. Exercise levels are then gradually increased. Once the damaged area of heart muscle has healed, which usually takes about 6 weeks; most people are allowed to return to their normal activities.
After a heart attack, many people want to know when it is safe to have sex again. Once you can climb up and down stairs without any difficulty, you should be able to cope with the exertion of sexual intercourse, although, at first, you may not be as athletic as you might have been.