After a heart attack, the last thing you may want to do is get moving. Maybe you’re worried about overdoing it. (And who wouldn’t be?) Or maybe having had the heart attack has got you singing the blues.
But if you give into those anxieties and fears and lock yourself up indoors, you’re skipping out on one of the most important things that can lead to recovery.
Exercise is a proven way to keep folks from ever getting a heart attack again.
But according to a study out of Columbia University, less than one out of every six heart attack survivors keeps up their targeted level of physical activity.
In the study, older folks wore a device on their wrist to monitor their activity for at least 10 hours a day, three days a week, over the course of five weeks.
They were supposed to get 30 minutes of moderate activity, five days a week within two weeks of leaving doctor’s care – but out of the 620 patients, less than five per cent kept up with their recommended levels of activities after leaving the hospital.
This is despite the fact that regular exercise strengthens your heart, which is no doubt the most important muscle you have!
And if you’re feeling stressed – about the heart attack you had, or about anything else – exercise will actually help relieve that stress.
The good news is, as time went on in the study, patients were more likely to be active. By week five, 16 per cent of patients were getting enough exercise.
Now, you probably already know that getting plenty of exercise can help prevent a heart attack. But it’s also true that getting your blood pumping after you’ve already had one can get you back on your feet faster – and keep you from ending up in hospital again.
Don’t try to do it on your own. Right after you’ve had your “big scare,” probably the best way to get moving is with a physical therapist in a rehab center who can make sure whatever you’re doing is safe and gentle.
You might even get a little free “talk therapy” out of it, since you can express your concerns to your physical therapist without worrying that they’ll prescribe you some mood drugs that will zone you out!
Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Heart Attack Survivors Don’t Keep Up with Exercise, Feb 28, 2017, medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/AcuteCoronarySyndrome/63451?xid=nl_mpt_DHE_2017-03-01&eun=g1024616d0r&pos=16
Study finds only 16% of heart attack survivors get recommended amount of physical activity, Mar 1, 2017, news-medical.net/news/20170301/Study-finds-only-1625-of-heart-attack-survivors-get-recommended-amount-of-physical-activity.aspx
Few heart attack survivors get recommended activity, Mar 6, 2017, knowridge.com/2017/03/few-heart-attack-survivors-get-recommended-physical-activity/
Ship Out, Shape up? Post – ACS Patients Not Getting Enough Physical Activity, Mar 01, 2017, tctmd.com/news/ship-out-shape-post-acs-patients-not-getting-enough-physical-activity