Having a cardiac
episode can be frightening and anxious experience for both yourself and your family and friends.
Research and evidence has shown that increasing your physical activity levels significantly improve
morbidity, but can also reduce mortality in patients who suffered a heart
Following a cardiac
event, you are most likely to be apprehensive about starting or going back to an exercise
programme. We have listed some important do's and don'ts which need to be taken into
consideration so that you exercise safely and minimise the risk of further
Ensure that a
progressive warm-up is undertaken (which includes pulse raising, mobility and
preparatory stretching) for a minimum of 15 minutes (this will help dilate the
arteries and promote coronary blood flow) This should be to RPE
should include 1 set of 10-15 repetitions for 8-10 major muscle
i.e. walking is the primary aim of any programme for cardiac patients. The aim
should be complete 20-60mins. RPE 12-14
At the end of
exercise it is very important to undertake a cool down for a minimum of 10
minutes. The aim should be to slowly reduce the heart rate back to a pre-exercise
level. The rationale for this is due to an increase in risk of hypotension and
arrhythmias immediately after exercise.
your routine with exercises that are performed lying down. This could lead to
arrhythmias and also orthostatic hypertension when returning to an upright
position. Any exercise performed lying down should be included after an active 10
minute cool down.
Ensure you do not
take long periods of rest between exercises (therefore avoiding a drop in heart
rate). The exception being the onset of angina.
exercises or sustained overhead arm work and over gripping of equipment. This can
lead to an increase in blood pressure
intensity exercises using isolated muscle groups e.g. arms only. Combined leg and
arm work is recommended.
What is Coronary Heart
Coronary heart disease
begins when the coronary arteries – the arteries on the surface of the heart that supply the heart
muscle with blood – become graduallyfurred up with a fatty material called
atheromaIn time the artery may become so narrow that it
cannot deliver enough oxygen-containing blood to the heartmuscle when it needs it – such as when you are doing
exercise. The pain or discomfort that happens as a result is calledangina.