Benefits of Exercise for Angina Patients

by Jodee on February 15, 2011

If you have been diagnosed with angina, it doesn’t mean that you are barred from having an active life. Once the doctor has finished investigating your medical condition, he or she will recommend a level of intensity for exercise that fits with your medical condition without putting an undue strain on your heart.

Like all the other muscles in your body, your heart needs exercise to help keep it strong and healthy. Angina symptoms are caused by lack of blood flow to the heart, and by making a point of being physically active on a regular basis, a patient can gradually strengthen his or her heart and reduce the severity of angina symptoms.

The benefits of exercise for angina patients also include the following:

  • Increases exercise capacity; the more exercise an angina patient does, the more he or she will be able to do
  • Reduces the frequency of angina attacks as well as the severity of the symptoms
  • Relieves tension
  • Helps to aid in relaxation and promotes a better quality of sleep
  • Aids in weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Helps to regulate blood pressure
  • Promotes a general sense of well being
  • Strengthens the muscles, bones and joints
  • Increases mobility

Best Exercise for Angina Patients

Angina patients benefit from activities that involve constant movement and that increase respiration rate. Walking (indoor or outdoor), dancing or swimming in a heated pool are good choices. To avoid becoming bored with a particular exercise activity, make a point of engaging in more than one activity. The key is to do something to get your heart rate elevated regularly.

Exercises for Angina Patients to Avoid

Exercise can be beneficial to angina patients, but there are some forms of physical activity that should be avoided. An activity that requires the participant to stay in one place and strain to lift something, such as heavy strength training, is one of them since it will increase blood pressure and put a strain on the heart.

Participating in competitive football, rugby or squash are probably too intense for angina patients. Downhill skiing is another sport that is not a good choice for people with angina, since it involves exercising in cold air at a high altitude.

Make sure that your exercise routine includes a warmup period of between 5-10 minutes, as well as some time to cool down afterward. Exercise at a time when you don’t feel rushed so that you don’t overexert yourself. You will also want to avoid holding your breath while performing the activity.

Before starting an exercise program for angina, do check with your doctor. Your goal should be to start off very slowly and gradually increase your level of activity over time as your heart adjusts to the demands you are placing on it.

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