Obesity is the root cause of many health problems. But it seems like not many people are focusing on weight management, as the global prevalence of obesity has almost doubled in the last three decades, according to a 2017 study published in the US National Library of Medicine. The study showed that in 2008, while 12 percent of adults were obese, 34 percent were overweight. Obesity is linked with an increased incidence of coronary heart disease, so weight loss is important. But the right weight loss exercises for heart patients need to be picked so that they don’t cause any complications.
Exercise is important for heart patients
There are multiple health benefits of exercise for people with heart conditions. But it is crucial to approach exercise with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Here’s why people with heart problems need to exercise:
1. Exercise improves cardiovascular health
Regular exercise can improve cardiovascular health by strengthening the heart muscle, enhancing blood circulation and improving the efficiency of the cardiovascular system, says Delhi-based certified fitness and nutrition coach Abhi Singh Thakur.
2. Weight management
Exercise helps with weight management, which is important because excess weight can strain the heart and worsen heart conditions.
3. Manages blood pressure
Working out can help to lower blood pressure, which in turn reduces the risk of complications associated with high blood pressure, such as heart attacks and strokes.
4. Maintains cholesterol levels
Physical activity can improve the balance of good and bad cholesterol in the body, reducing the risk of plaque buildup in the arteries, says the expert.
5. Boosts mood and reduces stress
When you sweat it out, it can have positive effects on your mental health. This will help to reduce stress, something that is important for the heart health.
6. Increases endurance and energy
Building cardiovascular endurance through exercise can improve overall energy levels and the ability to perform daily activities without getting tired, Thakur tells Health Shots.
7. Gives you better sleep
Regular physical activity can lead to improved sleep quality, which is important for overall health and heart function.
Weight loss exercises for heart patients
People with heart problems might have doubts about hitting the gym or doing any activity that involves sweating it out. You can still lose weight by doing the following exercises in moderation:
• Start with a slow, steady pace for about five minutes as a warm-up.
• Gradually increase your pace to a brisk walk for 20 to 30 minutes.
• Cool down with five minutes of slower walking, followed by gentle stretching.
• Use a stationary bike or a recumbent bike for a low-impact option.
• Start with a gentle warm-up for five minutes at a slow pace.
• Pedal at a moderate intensity for 15 to 20 minutes, maintaining a steady rhythm.
• Cool down by gradually slowing your pace for five minutes.
• Start with a few minutes of easy swimming to warm up.
• Engage in 20 to 30 minutes of continuous swimming, focusing on your form and breathing.
• Gradually reduce your pace and swim slowly for a cool-down.
4. Chair exercises
• Sit on a chair that won’t move around, and keep your feet flat on the floor.
• Perform seated leg lifts by extending one leg straight and then lowering it,
• Engage in seated marches by lifting your knees one at a time.
• Perform seated leg extensions by extending your legs out straight and then bending them back in.
• Complete two to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions for each exercise.
• Choose gentle yoga poses that promote flexibility, balance and relaxation.
• Perform poses like the mountain pose, seated forward bend and cat-cow pose.
• Focus on deep and controlled breathing while doing yoga.
The exercises are generally considered safer for heart patients due to their low-impact nature. They basically put minimal stress on the joints and the cardiovascular system. They are of moderate intensity, meaning they elevate the heart rate and increase breathing, but not to a level that would cause excessive strain on the heart. So, you basically need to avoid exercises or yoga poses that put strain on the heart or involve intense stretching.