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Heart disease: Why sport should be part of the therapy!

Aug 11, 2021 | Heart., Prevention, Sports.

Heartpatients benefit significantly from regular exercise. This is because exercise improves the oxygen uptake of the muscles and relieves the heart.

Standard sports recommendations such as “exercise close to maximum heart rate” and “strength training with maximum repetitions of 4-6x per set” are not necessary to optimize your own performance. Recent studies show that patients with heart failure in particular benefit from even small amounts of casual exercise. This could be short walks of 15-20 minutes or light small bike rides, two to three times a week.

It should be noted that endurance sports are especially recommended for people with heart disease. This includes fast walking, cycling or dancing. The goal should be to train coordination and dexterity, and thus to promote reaction skills. Dancing in particular promotes motivation, trains endurance and serves as an optimal fall prophylaxis.Less suitable sports are those that increase pressure in the body or hide uncontrolled stress situations (eg: swimming, handball, soccer). Blood pressure could be increased uncontrollably, or cardiac arrhythmia could be caused.Every heart patient should clarify with his or her doctor whether and which sporting activity is safe for his or her health.

In the meantime there are offers of “heart sport groups”. These are training units, e.g. 1-2/week walking through the park, under medical supervision. This not only ensures safety, but also has the advantage that heart activity and performance development are under control. In the hands of special sports physicians, not only the cardiac condition (heart function) could be checked in advance, but according to the medication, especially during the sport in these patients the focus on the risk of cardiac arrhythmia could be placed and controlled

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Sports physicians can also prescribe training recommendations, e.g. gymnastic exercises in sitting, standing or lying position, and promote the coordination and muscle-strengthening exercises until the next trainingsession. It should be noted that such training sessions at home, not only increase strength and endurance, but also include breathing and relaxation exercises, and in this way permanently keep the heart rate low and promote optimal pumping power of the heart.

Once motivated and optimally medicated, the home cycle trainer (ergometer) is particularly worthwhile in order to achieve personal goals.

Examples of which sports are recommended to untrained:Favorable sports:Hiking, endurance running, cycling, gymnastics, cross-country skiing.

Conditionally suitable: Rowing, swimming, mountain hiking, horseback riding, ball sports, fitness training.

Unfavorable: Maximum strength exercises, bodybuilding, climbing, mountaineering, diving, martial arts.

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