Recovery: What Sport After A Heart Disease?
Regular physical activity is beneficial in preventing cardiovascular diseases as well as recurrences. That's why doctors recommend resuming sports after a heart disease or surgery, but not under any condition! To help you find an activity that you enjoy, we have selected 5 heart-healthy sports.
1- Nordic Walking
Walking is one of the simplest and most accessible exercises for people who want to get back into sports, especially for people with heart problems.
Regular walking improves blood circulation, but if you want to work your heart more deeply, you should practice active walking, which means walking quickly and swinging your arms.
That's why the first of the 5 sports good for the heart is Nordic walking, which is practiced with poles. Walking with poles not only reduces the load on the leg joints but also allows you to move faster. In terms of intensity, Nordic walking is equivalent to moderate jogging, but without the risk of joint trauma.
After a heart disease or heart surgery, it is recommended to start with short sessions of 15 to 20 minutes on flat terrain, and then gradually increase the duration and difficulty of the course over the weeks.
2- The bike
Among the 5 sports good for the heart, we must of course mention cycling, a classic endurance sport! A Danish study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association in November 2016 demonstrated that regular cycling reduces cardiovascular risk by 25%.
Contrary to what patients sometimes imagine, cycling is not prohibited after a heart accident such as a heart attack. Cycling allows the heart to work at a moderate intensity for at least half an hour, which is ideal training after a heart disease or surgery.
If you lack training and this physical activity seems inaccessible to you, try an electric bike to be able to modulate your effort.
Another one of the 5 heart-healthy sports is swimming. It's not always thought of, but swimming is also an endurance sport that works the heart and lungs.
So, if you don't know how to ride a bike and walking bores you, get a membership to the pool! It's essential to choose a sport you enjoy if you want to get back into exercise after a heart condition or surgery. This gradual fitness regimen usually takes between 6 and 12 weeks.
As a low-impact sport on the joints, swimming is ideal for overweight individuals who suffer from lower back or joint pain (such as in the hips and knees).
Did you know that practicing yoga improves cardiovascular abilities as much as walking or jogging? This was the surprising conclusion of a study published in December 2016 in The European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
Yoga is one of the top 5 sports for heart health because it combines breathing exercises with muscle strengthening. The postures and breathing exercises work together to lower heart rate, blood pressure, and even cholesterol levels!
After a heart condition or surgery, practicing yoga can also help reduce stress and anxiety, which is also beneficial for your heart.
5- Indoor gymnastics
If you feel like you need the support of a personal trainer to get back into exercise after an illness or heart surgery, sign up for a gym membership! Working out at a gym is one of the 5 sports that are good for your heart because it allows you to alternate between different activities: treadmill, rowing machine, elliptical, and fitness classes...
To ease back into exercise, start with gentle activities such as stretching and Pilates and get help from a coach to properly use the equipment and adjust the intensity of the exercises to your health condition.
Good to know.
Before starting a new sport, consult your doctor or cardiologist to ensure that this physical activity is compatible with your health condition.
Even if sport is good for the heart, people with heart disease or who have undergone heart surgery should practice with caution.
Remember that you should always warm up for at least 5 minutes at the beginning of the session and always plan for a recovery time where you decrease the pace at the end of the session.