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Posts Tagged ‘heart problems and exercise’

By Martha Jette

There are a number of things to consider before choosing the workout plan that is best for you.

First and foremost is the current state of your health.
If you have health problems such as asthma, emphysema or other respiratory problem, you will have to choose a workout that allows you to take frequent breaks.

The Better Health Channel recommends beginning with breathing exercises to strengthen the diaphragm. Then take short walks each day and concentrate on exercises that stretch the muscles. You might also want to consider something like Tai Chi rather than more intensive workout programs.

If you have arthritis, fibromyalgia or any similar chronic condition that affects your muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints, you will need to choose a workout that is less strenuous as well. Low impact exercise for those with arthritic conditions can actually be beneficial.

Try walking, swimming or yoga to keep muscles limber and strong but do not overdo it or you will feel the negative results. Begin with short periods of any exercise and slowly work up to more.

Exercise is good for the heart but if you have pre-existing heart problems, you need to be careful. Safe Sport recommends first discussing an exercise regime with your doctor and keeping in close touch with him/her throughout. Start out with warm-up exercises and be sure to rest afterward.

If you have a heart rhythm problem caused by abnormal electrical activity in the heart, you could be in danger of atrialatrial or ventricular fibrillation, Wolfe-Parkinson White Syndrome or even Long QT Syndrome.

If you are obese, you might not be able to exercise as easily in the beginning. People who are morbidly obese often have knee or back problems due to their access weight.

One way to get started is to opt for swimming, which won’t cause undue stress on those areas. As well, obese people often don’t fit on regular gym workout equipment such as exercise bikes and weight benches. In such cases, you should consider a personal trainer, which will also save you the embarrassment of going to a gym.

Those with diabetes or too much sugar in the blood can benefit greatly from a regular exercise routine. A Canadian study of 251 obese adults has now shown that people with type 2 diabetes who undertake aerobic exercise and lift weights have better blood sugar control. Be sure however, that you monitor your blood  sugar level carefully because it will decrease during and after exercise so if you feel shaky or sweat more than usual, stop immediately.

Many seniors cannot handle excessive exercise but a short walk after dinner each day will go far in maintaining a healthy weight. If you find this difficult as well, begin walking just a block or two and increase your distance each day. Even if you use a walker, you will still benefit. You will find that you can burn off a significant amount of calories simply by walking.

Some people with health issues may find exercising difficult at first, but the health benefits will out outweigh any problems they might initially experience. That’s because being overweight is a health problem in itself that can cause everything from high blood pressure to diabetes and heart disease. Exercise has also been found effective in alleviating stress and depression.

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