Weight Loss Exercises for Heart Patients

Obesity is the cause of many health problems. But it seems few people are focusing on weight management, as the global prevalence of obesity has nearly doubled over the past three decades, according to a 2017 study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The study showed that in 2008, while 12 percent of adults were obese, 34 percent were overweight. Obesity is linked to an increased incidence of coronary heart disease, so weight loss is important. But the right weight loss exercises for heart patients should be chosen in such a way that they do not cause any complications.

Exercise is important for heart patients

Exercise has many health benefits for people with heart disease. But it’s crucial to approach exercise with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Heart patients can also do weight loss exercises. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Here’s why people with heart problems should exercise:

1. Exercise Improves Cardiovascular Health

Regular exercise can improve cardiovascular health by strengthening the heart muscle, improving blood circulation and improving the efficiency of the cardiovascular system, says Abhi Singh Thakur, a certified fitness and nutrition trainer based in Delhi.

2. Weight management

Exercise helps manage weight, which is important because excess weight can put strain on the heart and make heart disease worse.

3. Manages Blood Pressure

Exercise can help lower blood pressure, which reduces the risk of complications associated with high blood pressure, such as heart attacks and strokes.

Tips for losing weight
Look for low-impact exercises if you have heart disease. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

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. Improves mood and reduces stress

When you sweat, it can have positive effects on your mental health. This will help reduce stress, which is important for heart health.

6. Increases stamina 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. Allows you to sleep better

Regular physical activity can improve sleep quality, which is important for overall health and heart function.

Weight Loss Exercises for Heart Patients

People with heart problems may have doubts about going to the gym or doing any activity that involves sweating. You can still lose weight by doing the following exercises in moderation:

1. Walk

• Start at a slow, steady pace for about five minutes to 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 light stretching.

2. Cycling

• Use a stationary bike or recumbent bike for a low-impact option.
• Start with a gentle five-minute warm-up at a slow pace.
• Cycle at moderate intensity for 15 to 20 minutes, maintaining a brisk pace.
• Recover by gradually slowing your pace for five minutes.

3. Swimming

• Start with a few minutes of easy swimming to warm up.
• Participate in 20 to 30 minutes of continuous swimming, focusing on your form and breathing.
• Gradually reduce your pace and swim slowly to cool down.

4. Chair exercises

• Sit in a chair that does not move and keep your feet flat on the floor.
• Perform seated leg raises by extending one straight leg then lowering it,
alternate legs.
• Participate in seated walks by raising your knees one at a time.
• Perform seated leg extensions by extending your legs straight and then folding them back.
• Perform two to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions for each exercise.

5. Yoga

• Choose gentle yoga poses that promote flexibility, balance and relaxation.
• Perform poses like mountain pose, seated forward bend, and cat-cow pose.
• Focus on deep, controlled breathing while doing yoga.

Exercises are generally considered safer for heart patients due to their low impact. They essentially put minimal pressure on the joints and cardiovascular system. They are moderate in 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 should basically avoid exercises or yoga poses that strain the heart or involve intense stretching.

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