Elderly patients – Vision, balance, stability and orthopedic considerations should be considered. Weight machines and/or seated exercises may be safer.
All heart patients should be evaluated before beginning a strength-training program to make sure that this activity will be safe for you. If your doctor gives you approval to begin, follow these special guidelines:
- After heart surgery – you can begin range of motion exercises in the hospital. After 4 to 6 weeks of recovery, you should participate in a cardiac rehabilitation or aerobic activity program. Two to 3 weeks into the program, your health care provider should check your sternum for healing and stability before you can begin weight training. Weight lifting that requires pulling of the sternum should be avoided for about three months.
- After a heart attack (myocardial infarction or MI) – you can begin range of motion activities two days after your heart attack, depending on your condition. After 4 to 6 weeks of recovery, you should participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program or an aerobic activity program. Two to 3 weeks into the program, you can begin weight training.
- After angioplasty – you can start a cardiac rehabilitation program or an aerobic activity program after one week of recovery. Then, two to 4 weeks into the program, you can begin weight training.
Strengthen your heart and your muscles. Include weight training with your aerobic exercise and you will feel better inside and out!
To make an appointment with an exercise specialist or to join a cardiac rehabilitation program, contact the Cleveland Clinic Preventive Cardiology - 216.444.9353 or 800.223.2273 ext. 9353.
- Advisory from the Committee on Exercise, Rehabilitation, and Prevention, Council on Clinical Cardiology, American Heart Association, Resistance Exercise in Individuals With and Without Cardiovascular Disease, Circulation, 2000; 101:828-833.
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