Adult

Exercise

  • The heart is a muscle and benefits from exercise like all muscles. The heart is a strong muscle, working constantly, so it is extremely powerful with the ability to recover and improve.

  • Benefits of Regular Activity

    Physical
    Increase exercise tolerance
    Improves muscle strength and tone
    Improves function of heart , lungs and circulation
    Helps to facilitate weight loss by increasing metabolic rate
    Improves flexibility
    Helps to reduce muscular aches and pains and pains
    Reduces the risk of osteoporosis
    Reduces risk of developing coronary artery disease
    Helps reduce Blood Pressure
    Reduces Cholesterol
    Reduces the risk of stroke and developing type 2 Diabetes

  • Psychological

    Improves feeling of psychological wellbeing ( Releases endorphins)

    Reduces stress and anxiety

    Helps promote sleep / relaxation

    Boosts self-confidence and self-image

  • Most adult congenital patients have no exercise restrictions, but if you are unsure about levels & types of activity please contact your Cardiologist, Specialist Nurse or Physiotherapist based at the hospital.

  • Important Points to remember

    Whatever form of exercise you choose to do you should always:
    Warm up
    Spend 15 minutes gradually warming up and increasing your breathing and heart rate. This is the most important part of any exercise session so don’t be tempted to miss it out! Main Exercise
    This should be done at a hard enough rate to make you feel a “puffed”/ out of breath and feel warm and sweaty
    Remember to use the Talk test, you should still be able to talk in full sentences all the time you are working at this level. Aim for level 3-4 on the Borg Scale
    If you cannot talk then you are working too hard and needs to slow down
    If you have enough breath to sing then you are not working hard enough and the exercises will not help you get fitter

  • Cool Down
    This is really important so always make sure you have time to cool down at the end of your session.
    Gradually slow your pace down and allow your breathing and heart rate to come back to normal. You can include your stretches for the main muscle groups as you did in the warm up

    Other Guidelines
    Listen to your body and always stay within YOUR capabilities
    Make sure you know what is advised for you to do / not do for YOUR heart condition
    You should aim to do at least 30 minutes exercise most days ie. 5 times a week
    Don’t become dehydrated – especially if you have a cyanotic heart problem
    ALWAYS stop if you feel unwell / pain / dizzy

  • Things to avoid

    Lifting Heavy Weights
    Exercising straight after a meal
    Exercising if you are unwell

    EXERCISE is not just sport / going to the gym. Walking is the best exercise and its FREE
    Find something you enjoy
    Regular exercise is important
    Useful Contacts
    www.nhs.uk/change4life
    www.bhf.org.uk