Exercise and Keeping Your Heart Healthy

After the initial healing period after an angioplasty or open heart surgery, your doctor may or may not prescribe cardiac rehab. It sounds worse than it is. Your initial visit is mainly questions about your usual height, weight and medical history. When you start rehab, start slow – you have not exercised in a long time.

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After the initial healing period after an angioplasty or open heart surgery, your doctor may or may not prescribe cardiac rehab. It sounds worse than it is. Your initial visit is mainly questions about your usual height, weight and medical history. When you start rehab, start slow – you have not exercised in a long time.


Once you are set to begin, you can go around 3 times a week. Some of the equipment you will use is a treadmill, a bike and a hand and arm machine. You will progress to other equipment as your body gets stronger. Don’t increase your intensity based on how other people you know have progressed; everyone is an individual. Don’t get upset if you can’t do something at first – it will happen. Your body’s reaction at first will be like, whoa! Don’t get discouraged. Always start with a good set of stretching exercises and end with the same as well as a walk to cool off.

During your rehab, a nurse or others that work there will monitor your blood pressure, and will ask how hard something is. When you answer, don’t have your ego get in the way. If the apparatus is too hard then tell them; they will adjust the settings to make it more comfortable.

The rehab will continue for about 36 visits, for some it’s more or less; it all depends on your insurance. If you are a diabetic, here is some advice for that. First before you exercise, eat something. If it is at night, have a snack to raise your blood sugar. During the morning, have a light breakfast. Bring your glucometer. Check your blood sugar both before and after your workout. You will notice right away that after exercise your blood sugars will take a dramatic drop. If you feel light-headed, stop immediately and let a nurse know right away. Also, you will be wearing a heart monitor while you exercise as well. Take a snack with you just in case you need to eat something.

One big point is that you should enjoy this. It will be tough and hurt, but as time passes it will become easy and you will enjoy this. This is the start of heart healthy lifestyle! When you complete rehab, don’t stop working out! Go to your local gym and continue your exercise and healthy eating habits – this will go a long way for your health and happiness. Remember always keep a positive outlook.

Blog written by David Held
As a young man, David Held found himself on Dr. Oz's operating table undergoing quintuple bypass surgery. He is now in complete...