When plaque begins blocking blood flow to the heart, there's an increased risk of chest pain, heart attacks, and other cardiac problems. To avoid this, a person may be required to undergo an angioplasty treatment to help increase the blood flow to the heart.
After an angioplasty procedure, it is important to start a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is usually an essential part of long-term recovery. Be healthy and mindful about the type, amount and intensity of the exercise you prefer. That way, you can recover and work with your body to avoid any heart attacks in the future.
Exercising Right After an Angioplasty
Talk to your doctor
After an angioplasty treatment, the doctor will require strict guidelines you have to follow for specific exercises. Always do exactly as recommended by your cardiologist. He will speak to you as you leave the hospital after your angioplasty treatment and send you discharge papers which will clarify what sort of physical activity you can and can not do. Make sure you understand the doctor's description and carefully read his instructions. Make sure you speak to your cardiologist about any questions or concerns.
Rest for a minimum of one or two days after the treatment
Even if angioplasty is not a major cardiac operation, it still involves a hospital overnight stay and a recovery period afterward. While each doctor is slightly different in their guidelines, most require that you remain inactive after your angioplasty for one to two days. That means no heavy lifting, no physical exercise, or any exercise that will cause you to substantially increase your heart rate.
For the most part, day-to-day activities are sufficient. Be cautious of tasks that would be of a higher intensity such as bringing in large groceries, washing, gardening etc.
Discuss the advantages of starting on a cardiac recovery program
Consider joining or beginning a cardiac rehabilitation program after your days of low activity. It should be something to discuss with your doctor or cardiologist.
Cardiac rehabilitation programs are ideally suited for patients with severe blockage and prior cardiac problems (such as a heart attack or angina).
These recovery programs aim to show you how to exercise safely and work with you to build up your cardiovascular fitness over time. There are cardiologists and health specialists who can supervise you and your heart while you exercise. In fact, the health care coverage includes most cardiac rehabilitation services.
Start with lifestyle activity
When you don't want to do a cardiac rehabilitation plan, you'll be able to continue the activity on your own. A great place to start is to ramp up your lifestyle activities. Lifestyle activities or simple activities are those activities that are part of your everyday routine. These are the things that get you moving. For example, taking the stairs, parking farther away, shopping at grocery stores, gardening, etc. are all things that can get you up, moving and increase your heart rate.
Once you get home from your angioplasty treatment, your overall activity will probably be reduced. Rather than starting out with more organized exercise, these types of lifestyle activities will gradually build endurance.
Bring a friend or a family member with you
A smart and secure choice is to have a partner, coworker or family member with you when you start exercising. For most patients, it is usually fine to exercise and should be good after an angioplasty treatment. However, it might be better to take somebody with you. When you feel lightheaded, dizzy or have chest pains, they will help when necessary.
Incorporating Safe Exercises After an Angioplasty
Start with a warm-up, and finish with a cool down
One basic type of exercise routine is a warm-up and cool-down. Include all of these after having an angioplasty. Even though a warm-up and a cool-down are not a specific form of exercise, after some sort of cardiovascular procedure they are a necessary component of healthy exercise.
A warm-up should last for about 5 to 10 minutes. Choose a really low-intensity, low-impact workout which is a slow-down version of the workout you are going to do. A slow walk on the treadmill before you jog for example. The warm-up is aimed at making your heart rate rise gradually and keeping your muscles warm and loose and bringing them through their full range of motion. A cooldown is just like a warm-up. This should also be around five to 10 minutes long, and a fast-paced workout of low intensity. The cooldown allows for the heart rate and blood pressure to return to a normal level without a sudden drop in activity.
Have a 30 minute stroll every day
A 30 minute walk is a very safe and frequently recommended workout. For most patients with angioplasty, this is a perfect exercise, to begin with. Research has shown that walking is among the best exercises, to begin with. Strive for a 30-minute walk every day. If you can't walk for 30 minutes at the moment, this should be your first goal in relation to exercise. Since walking is moderate intensity and low impact workout, you can do this every day.
Check out other physical activities
When you have the 30-minute walk down and you want to try other physical exercise forms, try either of the following:
Jogging - While this may sound like an exercise that increases the heart rate too much, it's a kind of aerobic exercise you can focus on overtime. Jogging burns more calories than running, and works better with your heart.
Swimming - This is yet another fantastic cardio exercise. It involves your whole body, but it is easy on the joints and as required, you can make it low intensity if needed. Additionally, the water makes your body warm, bringing the heart rate down.
Biking - When you are not a fan of jogging you can also try cycling. It is low intensity like swimming and you can lower the intensity if necessary.
Do some yoga
Since strength training is a good form of exercise to use alongside cardio, you need to find ways to incorporate it. Yoga is a perfect low-impact workout that can help boost the heart rate.
Yoga is a fantastic exercise to get into after any health issues, particularly after an angioplasty treatment. The best thing about yoga is that it can be used for strength training, but it can also train your breathing to help relax or de-stress after undergoing a heart operation like angioplasty.