Exercise Benefits Even Heart Failure Sufferers

Sep 2, 2009 by

Exercise Benefits Even Heart Failure Sufferers

Conventional wisdom tells us that, if you have heart problems, you really shouldn’t be exercising, as that can put your health and your life at risk. Rest instead, we’re told.

Recent research has debunked that theory. Exercise is critical for good health, and that applies even to persons who have suffered from heart failure. Learn more about the benefits of exercise for heart patients in the following article.

Exercise Shown to Benefit Even Heart Failure Patients

by Reuben Chow

Heart failure patients were once advised not to exercise, in view of the potential risk that their weakened hearts would not be able to withstand the exertions of physical activity. But someone also once said, “if you rest, you rust”. And a recent study which was funded by the United States government has shown that a certain amount of exercise, contrary to previous belief, actually benefits heart failure patients.

Details of Study

The study, which was discussed at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting recently held in New Orleans, looked at 2,331 recovering heart patients. For a 36-week period, half of the study subjects followed a stipulated exercise regime. The aim of the program was for these patients to carry out 40 minutes of moderate exercise five times every week. They were given exercise bicycles or treadmills to use at home.

On the other hand, the other half of the study subjects were advised about the benefits of carrying out half an hour of physical activity most days of the week, but were not explicitly asked or arranged to exercise.

Findings of Study

Just three months from the commencement of the study, only slightly more than 50% of the group which was supposed to exercise was still doing so regularly. This proportion continued to decline with time, and by the time it was a year after the start of the study, only a quarter of the group was still following the plan of exercising five times per week.

The results of the study defied long-held opinions. It found that exercising for half an hour three times each week did not raise the risk of erratic rhythms, heart attack, chest pain or fractures. That puts to bed the issue of exercise being unsafe for these patients, something which had never been proven by research but had always been assumed to be true for these persons.

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