Stable Angina Patients Can Benefit from Treadmill Workout

People who are living with stable angina can, with their doctor’s blessing, participate in aerobic exercise as part of a treatment plan. Medications can and do have their place in helping to relieve the symptoms of angina, and a combination of the right drug and an active lifestyle can help to train the heart to work more efficiently.

About Angina

Angina symptoms include feeling pressure or a heaviness in the chest area. It may also cause the patient to experience a burning sensation. This condition is caused when the heart is not getting enough blood.

Unstable angina can happen at any time, and may be caused by a blood clot blocking off a coronary artery. Stable angina occurs when the coronary arteries become partially blocked.

A person with stable angina may experience episodes of chest pain when he or she is exercising, since the increased activity means that the heart must pump harder and needs more oxygen to meet the increased demands the individual is placing on it. If the patient has been diagnosed with stable angina, a program of exercise therapy can help to relieve the symptoms.

Exercise for People with Stable Angina

Regular aerobic exercise, such as walking on a treadmill, can be beneficial for people who have been diagnosed with stable angina. The goal is to engage in a low-intensity activity so that the cardiovascular system is trained to become more efficient. Over time, the goal is for the individual to be able to exercise at a more intense rate without feeling chest pain or heaviness.

Before starting an exercise program for angina, the individual should consult a doctor. The physician may order a stress test to get an idea of the patient’s exercise capacity. The test will also provide information about the level of exercise that will trigger an angina attack.

Once the doctor has determined the right level of intensity for a patient, he or she will be given a prescription to follow. Rather than directions for taking a particular medication, the prescription will be for the level of exercise intensity that is safe for that person when performing aerobic activities. For most people, exercising at an intensity putting the person at 60-75 percent of the highest safe heart rate is recommended.

Using a treadmill for exercise is a good choice for stable angina patients. The patient can set the level of intensity to a rate recommended by his or her doctor. Many models include a heart rate indicator on the control panel, which makes it easy for the individual to make sure that he or she is working out at the right level of intensity without overdoing it.

Do You Have Angina?

Angina is a symptom of coronary artery disease. It can feel like indigestion, and some people affected by this disorder describe it as a heavy feeling or pressure in the chest. A burning or squeezing sensation in the upper part of the body can also be due to angina.

Some people with angina experience the sensations in the chest region only. Others have discomfort in their neck, shoulders, arms or back. Discomfort in the throat or jaw may also be attributed to angina.

Sudden onset of these kinds of symptoms merit prompt medical attention. While they may be caused by a number of medical conditions, you should get checked out by a doctor to rule out heart disease as the cause of the discomfort you are experiencing.

Angina occurs when a region of the heart is not being supplied with the proper amount of blood. When the normal flow of nutrient-rich blood is decreased, the heart adjusts by using an alternative form of fuel so that it can continue pumping.

Lactic Acid Production

When the heart has to rely on the alternative fuel to keep working, the body produces a compound called lactic acid. The presence of lactic acid in the body means that it needs to break down carbohydrates to get the energy it needs.

If you have ever exercised vigorously and felt sore following the activity, you have experienced the results of lactic acid production. The lactic acid being produced by your body is what causes the pain associated with angina.

Angina Treatment

If you have been diagnosed with angina, your doctor has a number of treatment options for you. You may be told that you need to rest or take medications to deal with this health condition. In some cases, surgery is the recommended treatment.

Angina Treatment Options

If you have been diagnosed with angina, your doctor has several treatment options to suggest. You may be prescribed medication to deal with this disorder, but the doctor may also suggest that you make some lifestyle changes as well.

Medication for Angina

One of the medication options for people with angina is Aspirin. A small dose of this common, over the counter drug can help to prevent blood clots in coronary arteries. Other pain medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, don’t have this property, and should not be taken daily to help treat your angina.

Nitrates can also be used to treat angina. This type of medication is available in a pill form that may be placed under the tongue or swallowed. It also comes in a spray. When taken, this type of medication helps to open up the arteries and improves blood flow to the entire body, including the heart. Your doctor may recommend that you have nitroglycerin or a similar medication on hand in case you have an angina attack or that you take it before performing physical activity that may trigger an attack.

Beta blockers are another treatment option for this health issue. Your doctor may prescribe them if you have high blood pressure or angina. They work by slowing down the heart rate. Once the heart’s rhythm is brought down to a more normal level,

Your doctor may also prescribe a calcium channel blocker medication to treat your angina. This type of drug works by relaxing the muscles in the body. They also relax the arteries. This type of treatment can work well when the angina is due to arterial spasms instead of a blockage in this part of the body.

Lifestyle Changes

Along with the different kinds of medication available to help treat angina, there are some lifestyle changes that can help.

Stopping smoking is an important one. You already know that this habit doesn’t have any positive benefits for your health. Smoking makes your heart beat faster, as well as makes the arteries tighten. It also speeds up the progression of atherosclerosis.

Following a heart-healthy diet will help you look and feel better. Many people with angina are also overweight, and getting closer to a normal weight will help to reduce the strain on your heart. Before making changes to your eating habits, it’s a good idea to discuss your plans with your doctor. He or she can refer you to a nutritionist who can make suggestions for healthy eating.

Working Overtime? You Could be Damaging Your Heart

If you have been thinking that spending too much time at work could be bad for your heart health, you may be right. The results of a study conducted on British civil servants indicate that working overtime can increase the risk of cardiac issues.

The results, which were published in the European Heart Journal, followed 10,000 people, found that the government workers who worked more than three hours longer than the standard seven-hour workday had a 60 percent higher risk of having a non-fatal heart attack or angina, or developing heart disease.

The reason working long hours and increased risk of heart disease are related may be due to increased stress involved in spending more time on the job. A person who puts in long hours at work may be a Type A personality. This type of person is already aggressive, highly competitive and impatient, and is probably a good candidate for heart problems. It makes sense that the risk of heart disease, heart attack and angina are linked to someone who puts in a lot of time on the job.

Chronic stress is not healthy for anyone, and working long hours, either to complete special projects or because workers have a higher workload due to cutbacks, leads to other habits that don’t promote good health.

Eating on the run may mean going for fast food over a healthier choice, and working long hours may mean that the employee is not getting enough sleep. Neither of these scenarios contribute to good heart health.

While some overtime may be required for certain positions, if a person finds they are expected to burn the midnight oil regularly, it may be a good idea to update the resume and start putting out feelers for another job. The idea of work/life balance is an important one, and it appears that it is essential for good health.

Three Types of Angina

Angina is considered a warning sign of heart disease, but being diagnosed with this condition is not the same as suffering a heart attack. There are three types of angina that you need to be aware of:

Stable Angina occurs when the heart doesn’t have access to the level of oxygen-rich blood that it needs. Each episode feels the same, and the patient experiences them when performing the same kinds of activities. Rest and/or medications are prescribed to relieve the symptoms.

Unstable angina may be a precursor to a heart attack. It can be treated with medications, but the symptoms may worsen when the patient is at rest. Unstable angina is considered a medical emergency and prompt treatment at a hospital is required.

Variant angina is not a common condition. It occurs when the blood flow to the heart muscle is disrupted due to a spasm in the coronary artery and may lead to a heart attack.

What Causes Angina?

Angina refers to chest pain that occurs when the heart muscle is deprived of the oxygen-rich blood that needs to function properly. The events that can trigger an angina attack vary, depending on the type of angina that a person has. A buildup of plaque in the arteries surrounding the heart can restrict blood flow and lead to angina. For some people, walking up stairs is enough to trigger an angina attack. Other events that can cause this type of chest pain include:

  • Emotional stress
  • Extreme temperatures (either hot or cold)
  • Heavy meals
  • Smoking

Other angina sufferers may be feeling the effects of a spasm in a coronary artery. This condition, called variant angina, occurs when the blood flow to the heart is slowed or stopped. Other triggers for variant angina include the following:

  • Cold temperatures
  • Medications that cause blood vessels to tighten up
  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Use of cocaine


What is Angina?

Angina is a type of chest pain that occurs when part of the heart doesn’t get enough blood. It may feel like pressure in the front of the chest area, and the discomfort may spread down the left arm. In some cases, the right arm is affected. A doctor will suspect that you have angina if you have chest pain that gets worse when you exert yourself and stops if you rest for a few minutes.

This condition produces the same type of pain that a heart attack does, but unlike a heart attack, it doesn’t cause any damage to the heart. When someone has a heart attack, the affected area is permanently damaged due to lack of blood flow with scar tissue. It is an sign of atherosclerosis, and is something that should be taken seriously. Angina is more common in men than women, and your risk of developing this condition increases as you get older.

Family history also plays a role in risk factors for angina. If a close relative has suffered a heart attack, especially before the age of 50, your chances of heart issues increase as well. Having high blood pressure, smoking, and diabetes also put you in a higher-risk category.

How to Lower Your Risk of Angina

When it comes to lowering your risk of angina, there are several things you can do. Taking good care of your health by eating a low-fat diet will help. You will also want to make a point of exercising regularly and getting enough sleep. Quitting smoking will lower your risk, as well.

Some doctors will recommend taking an Aspirin a day to prevent angina, especially if you are a man over the age of 40 or a woman who has gone through menopause.