A Walking Program

Walking is one of the most important things you can do to help your health when you have heart failure.

  • Walking improves muscle tone and strength.
  • Walking keeps you from losing endurance and getting weak muscles (deconditioning).
Tips for Walking
  • It is best to walk 20-30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.
  • You can start with 5-10 minutes per day at a slow pace and add time and speed as you get stronger.
  • You should be able to talk while walking.
  • If you are too short of breath, stop for 1-3 minutes and start walking again at a slower pace.
  • If your legs feel weak and tired when walking, stop for 1-3 minutes and start walking again at a slower pace and for a shorter amount of time.
  • Walk at the time of day when you have the most energy.
  • Take it easy when going up hills. Adjust your pace so you don’t get too tired. Remember that the time and distance out will be the same time and distance back.
  • Plan your walks so you don’t get too tired to walk back.
  • A faster-than-normal heart rate, sweating and feeling short of breath (not exhausted) are normal responses when you take part in moderate-to-vigorous activity and exercise.
  • Regular walking is important.
  • Talk to your doctor or nurse if you aren’t sure how fast you should walk.
  • Don’t walk outside if the temperature is below 20 degrees or above 80 degrees Fahrenheit with more than 80 percent humidity. Shopping malls are good places to walk in bad weather.

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