Category: Exercise

How to Start Exercise Regime After Heart Attack

Exercise is vital for good health. Moreover, it is an established fact that exercise increases longevity. A study published in the Journal of American Medical Association by Steven Blair followed 10,224 men and 3,120 women for 8 years. It was found that maximum death rate occurred in the least fit group while the most fit group had least death rates. Therefore, to get back in health, after a heart attack, exercise is mandatory. But you should know how to exercise safely.

Moderation is the Key:

When someone mentions exercise, most think of guys sweating at the gym and lifting heavy weights. Well, that is one part of exercise which is necessary for being fit. However, if you plan to get only healthy then moderation is the key. With just moderate exercise you get all the health benefits of strenuous exercise. Just 30 minutes per day, five days per week is all you need.

You don’t even need weight because all you will do is walk for 30 minutes. If you can afford a treadmill or go to your local gym, that’s okay. But you don’t need them as you can always walk around the block at leisure. And as the sub-heading says ‘Moderation is the key’. Exerting yourself too much won’t do much good. To find if you are exercising at moderate pace you need the ‘Speech Test’.

Speech Test:

While exercising if you can converse without breathing difficulty then you are exercising moderately. However, if you need to stop and catch your breath to talk, then you are over exerting.

Before we get into the 12 week exercise regime, you need to find your Target Heart Rate.

How to Calculate Target Heart Rate?

Its simple. Just minus your age from 220. For example, if you are 45 year old then 220-45= 175. Therefore, 175 is your Target Heart Rate.

In the 12 week program we will mention 50% or certain percentage of Target Heart Rate. Here is how to calculate percentage.

Let’s assume we need to find 45% of Target Heart Rate. Then Multiply your Target Heart Rate with 0.45.

Target Heart Rate (THR)x0.45

170×0.45= 76.5 (77)

Therefore, for someone who has THR of 170, their 45% of THR will be 77.

The 12 Week Exercise Program

The exercise program is as follows:

Week 1: Walk 15 minutes, twice per day, at 50-60% of THR, six to seven days a week.

Week 2: Walk 20 minutes, twice per day, at 50-60% of THR, six to seven days a week.

Week 3-5: Walk 30 minutes per day at 50-70% of THR, six to seven days a week.

Week 6-8: Walk 45 minutes per day at 60-75% of THR, six to seven days a week.

Week 9-12: Walk 60 minutes per day at 60-80% of THR, six to seven days a week.

Important: Before starting any exercise regime consult your doctor or cardiologist.

The above exercise regime is taken from Dean Ornish’s book ‘Reversing Heart Diseases’.

Why Being Fit Won’t Help Your Heart

Fitness and Health are not same. Sadly, they are used synonymously.

Fitness is defined as conditioning of your body. Your ability to work or exercise. Health is defined as absence of disease and abnormality.

Therefore, if you are fit, it doesn’t mean you are healthy.

Take the idea further. You will realize that being fit does not help your heart.

Fit People Who Suffered Heart Attacks:

1. Jim Fixx is a well known runner. He authored ‘The Complete Guide to Running’ which is #1 best seller. In fact, he is responsible for America’s fitness revolution. Unfortunately, he died at 52 while running. Autopsy revealed that one artery was 90% blocked, the other 85% blocked while the third 70% blocked. For a marathon runner this is alarming.

2. In his book, Dean Ornish describes rushing into emergency room. The man lying on the stretcher had no pulse. Everyone was trying to revive this man. He was muscular and seemed fit. Later someone realized that it was Tony Conigliaro. He was a Major League Baseball outfielder and played for Boston Red Sox.

3. Pete Mavarich was the best basketball player of his time. He is considered as the best ball handler of all time. He played for NBA and other Associations. After retiring due to knee injury he embraced Christianity. While playing basketball at a local church he died of heart failure. He was only 40.

All three examples are proof that fitness level does not guarantee freedom from coronary disease.

But we do not imply avoiding exercise altogether. The usual recommendation of 30 minute moderate exercise, five days per week is good.

Moderate exercise in the form of walking is best. Walk on your treadmill, cross trainer or outdoor. Do not overdo it. Don’t push yourself beyond pain and injury. It is easy to get over exerted.

Many trainers recommend pushing beyond limit and pain. It works to build muscle. However, to remain healthy, moderation is the key.

Use this Speech Test to Know if You are Over Exerting:

Exercise in a moderate manner so that when you speak, you shouldn’t be out of breath. If you feel shortness of breath then lower the intensity. Use this test to ensure you are working out in moderation.

To gain maximum health, you need healthy lifestyle changes.

Important Note: Before starting any exercise regime talk with your doctor. According to your condition, your doctor will prescribe an exercise program. It is more important if you have previous history of heart attack or any heart disease.