3 Exercises Excellent for Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac health is extremely important in improving overall health and to either treat or minimise the impact of cardiac health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, recent heart attack, heart failure and arrhythmia. Following the diagnosis of any of these conditions, it is important to consult with an Exercise Physiologist to complete cardiac rehabilitation in a safe and monitored environment. 

The hearts role is to transport blood that does not have any oxygen in it to the lungs where it is able to collect oxygen and transport it to the rest of the body. This process of supplying oxygen to the body is what allows our body to move and function. When the heart is unhealthy or weakened as a result of a cardiac condition its ability to perform its role is significantly diminished and it will often overwork to achieve the same function. 

If you have been cleared by a physician to start cardiac exercises unsupervised, these are our top 3 cardiac rehabilitation exercises:

  1. Swimming

Swimming is an incredibly effective therapeutic exercise, as it works by training the body in using oxygen and aerobic respiration. As the body is trained to use oxygen with more efficiency it reduces strain on the heart and can eventually lower a person’s resting heart rate. Therefore swimming assists in strengthening the heart and improving its function while managing or preventing any symptoms that a cardiac condition may inflict. Other added benefits are that the water eliminates most of your body weight meaning it is gentler on your joints. 

2. Cycling

Cycling, especially using stationary bikes at a gym are an excellent way to strengthen the heart and cardiovascular system. It has been shown that regular cycling improves heart, lung and circulation while reducing risk of cardiovascular disease. Through cardiovascular exercise the heart muscle will become stronger resulting in a lower resting heart rate. This means the heart can provide the same function as it normally does with reduced stress put onto it. Cycling is also highly variable, meaning that there is less chance you will overexert yourself.

3. HIIT training

HIIT training is our favourite cardiac rehabilitation exercise. HIIT training is easily scaled to your current level of functioning/health. HIIT training can be completed anywhere (gyms, homes, parks etc.) and requires minimal equipment. HIIT training works to improve your cardiovascular health, by lowering your heart rate, reducing your fat and improving the functioning of your heart. 

It may be beneficial to see an exercise physiologist, a health professional who specialises in rehabilitation of conditions through exercise. An exercise physiologist will be able to provide you with an exercise program that is suited to your lifestyle and current level of functioning, they will be able to adapt and change this program as you progress. More importantly, this program will be safe for you to complete and you will not risk your health. 

Overall, poor cardiac health and cardiovascular conditions can cause significant functional impediments if left untreated. This will result in the heart having to work overtime to perform normally. Poor cardiac health can be treated with low impact exercises such as swimming and cycling, and potentially through HIIT training that is overseen by an exercise physiologist. 

If you have any questions or would like to book in to see our exercise physiologist please feel free to contact us on Call us on 0411563391 or email us at kristen@urbanhealthhq.com.au

Published by Urban Health HQ

We are a health and fitness centre offering Occupational Therapy, Exercise Physiology, Personal Training and Group Fitness classes.

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