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JamesPL, October 6,  2020  7:37pm EST

Hoping to provide some motivation...

Should People with Heart Disease Exercise? 
New guidelines from the European Society of Cardiology recommend that individuals with heart disease should engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week in addition to strength training at least three times a week if they also have hypertension, type 2 diabetes, or are obese.
European Society of Cardiology, August 2020

5 Replies
  • AHAASAKatie
    AHAASAKatie, October 7,  2020  8:43am EST
    Nala and Willow.jpg.

    Great post. The AHA has similar guidelines and fitness suggestions.  I am curious about what you have found to be the most effective in exercise during COVID?  While I am not sure where it ranks on the exercise scale, I have turned into a whirling derby of a cleaner. With two large, long-haired white dogs, I am a fur / fluffy warrior and vacuum, sweep, and mop all the time. :) This photo from a few years ago shows the girls lounging on the sofa. It would in the realm of reality to imagine me running around behind them with a shop vac, trying to capture all the hair. 

    Thanks for this post and I hope others share what their exercise habits are now. 

    Best Katie

  • KarlR
    KarlR, October 7,  2020  10:47am EST

    The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the CDC also have very similar guidlelines for all adults: 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week (each minute of high intensity exercise replaces two minutes of moderate intensity exercise), plus two days of strength training.  My discharge instructions (after my heart attack) were about the same, but they didn't include strength training.

    My current exercise routine: I try to go cycling every morning while the temperature is more manageable.  (Earlier in the summer that still meant exercising in 90°F+ and high humidity.)  On work days, that's usually 20-30 minutes.  On weekends it's usually often 2-3 hours.  My cycling is a mix of moderate and high intensity, but it's become gradully more moderate-intensity as my condition has improved.  (My heart is improving faster than my legs.)  If I can't get out to exercise, I have a compact stairmaster.  It has some resistance bands attached, so I do a little strength training while using the stairmaster.

    Housecleaning as exercise: If you have a FitBit or other heart-monitoring device, wear it while doing your chores.  Your heart rate will tell you whether it's a high intensity, moderate intensity, or low intensity activity.

    Staying motivated:  I've discovered two ways to stay motivated to exercise (1) do exercises that I find enjoyable, like cycling and dancing, or (2) have a goal that requires getting in shape, like my plans to go hiking in Big Bend later this year.

  • JamesPL
    JamesPL, October 7,  2020  7:48pm EST


    COVID actually hasn't impacted my exercise routine much. I have always gotten my running in during the early morning hours and I have done that throughout the pandemic. There aren't very many people out (especially now that it's getting darker in the morning) so social distancing is not an issue. On weekends I like to bike on a local bike trail. Although there are a lot more people around, I'm usually separated from the crowd. Weight training is indoors so that's not an issue. But I would say the most effective would be walking because I do that almost daily. I started doing it more simply because I needed to get out of the house during the lockdown.


    Weight training was a key part of my cardiac rehab and my PTs strongly encouraged me to continue with it after rehab ended as they emphasized the cardiac benefits. However, I didn't have a heart attack. I had bypass surgery.


  • steveSD
    steveSD, October 8,  2020  2:35pm EST

    I have been working back into a manageable routine this month. I was religiously exercising 6 days a week before covid. Two to three days of walking, two to three on my bike trainer, and two days in the gym lifting. My cardiologists have never been too enthused about weightlifting but I'm very careful and I don't push too hard. I watch how I'm feeling to avoid overtaxing my body.  With the gyms closed my strength training fell off and then I lost interest in everything else too and my diet suffered. I've posted on other threads, it's been a tough year. My wife and I just moved into a condo though and now the dog needs to be walked 3-5 times a day so I'm getting the miles in again. I will be adding the cycling back in soon and I'm hoping to get back to the gym soon as well. It all seems to work together. The exercise lowers stress and then I eat better. I'm hoping by the end of the year I can be back to where I was before this all started. Kind of like hitting "reset" on the slide I took from the lockdowns and all of the cancelations. Be well everyone. - Steve

  • vancet
    vancet, October 9,  2020  3:43am EST

    Same guidelines in Canada as well.  My cardiac rehab also drilled that into our heads to get 150 min scheduled exercise plus some strength training days mixed in (NOT heavy weights).  

    I make sure to exceed that and thanks to covid forcing work from home, I've been exceeding that as I work out 5-6 days a week at a minimum hour each workout day.  If I can't run/bike/play tennis, I make sure to get some walking in there rain or shine.  I think my last ER episode was partially due to pushing myself on doing much heavier weights. I am holding off for now on doing heavier weights and just doing resistance bands training for now. as per my cardiologist.  It's nice to get into a routine where you body just wants the endorphins you can get from working out.  My Apple watch and daily weigh-ins remind and motivate me to keep the routine up which I've done since cardiac rehab.  My wife is helping me making sure I keep it up. At the end of the day, any movement is much better than none so I don't punish myself if I don't make my exercise target for the day.

    Is anyone doing home yoga?  My cardiac rehab was pushing for it as way to relax and destress and I've tried it a couple of times via youtube and I just couldn't motivate myself to keep it up. 

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