Published on October 12, 2020 by AliveCor India


If you have been diagnosed with a heart condition like atrial fibrillation (AFib), or even high blood pressure, your treating doctor may have advised you to make exercise a part of your routine. There are many scientifically-proven benefits to physical activity, as outlined in this article. In particular, people with AFib can benefit from regular exercise and weight loss, resulting in fewer episodes of arrhythmia.

However, many people may be afraid to do anything that gets your heart pumping, especially exercise. Here’s how you can overcome these concerns and make exercise a part of your routine for better heart health, lower weight and stress levels, and an overall improved well-being.

Use the FITT Principle:

This is a simple guide to get you started and find a routine that works for you.

FITT stands for:

  • Frequency: How often will you exercise? E.g. 3 times a week, 4 times a week, daily. Pick a number that works for you and try to maintain consistency.

  • Intensity: How hard can you exercise? This is generally measured through the rate of perceived exertion – or how intense the exercise is, according to you. Find out more about this scale in this helpful article.

  • Time: How long will each exercise session last? Research recommends a minimum of 20 minutes per session, or 150 minutes per week.

  • Type: What type of exercise interests you?

Here’s a Routine you can Try Today!

Always remember that even a little exercise is better than none at all. To get you started today, here are some ideas to choose from:

  • Set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier and spend that time stretching (off the bed and on the floor!)
  • Ride a bike
  • Walk the dog
  • Work out to an exercise video online
  • Take a walk at lunchtime or after dinner. Use the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Lift light arm weights like water bottles while talking on the phone

In an earlier article, we discussed the benefits of walking – a truly effective and underrated exercise. You can follow this walking workout routine that does not need any equipment, major time commitment or dedicated space. You can even start at home!

Week 1

  • Frequency: Every other day
  • Warm up: Light stretching
  • Workout:  10-minute walk at a comfortable pace
  • Cool down: Light stretching

Week 2

  • Frequency: Every other day
  • Warm up: Stretching, followed by 5-minute walk at a comfortable pace
  • Workout:  10-minute walk at a faster pace
  • Cool down: 5-minute walk at a comfortable pace, light stretching

Week 3

  • Frequency: 4 times a week
  • Warm up: Stretching, followed by 5-minute walk at a comfortable pace
  • Workout: 15-minute walk at a faster pace
  • Cool down: 5-minute walk at a comfortable pace, light stretching

Week 4:

  • Frequency: 4 times a week
  • Warm up: Stretching, followed by 5-minute walk at a comfortable pace
  • Workout: 20-minute walk at a faster pace
  • Cool down: 5-minute walk at a comfortable pace, light stretching

Weeks 5-6:

  • Frequency: 5-6 times a week
  • Warm up: Stretching, followed by 10-minute easy walk
  • Workout: 25-30 minute walk at a faster pace
  • Cool down: 5-minute walk at a comfortable pace, light stretching

Listen to your body

The best way to know if you are working out properly is to pay attention to your body. During an exercise session, it is normal to be aware of your breathing, slightly tired, sweaty, and to feel hot. Signs like chest pain or discomfort, dizziness, shortness of breath and gasping and pounding heartbeat are indications that you may be pushing yourself too hard. Pushing too hard is the number one reason why exercise may become unsafe for someone with a heart condition. You might be tempted to push harder so that you accomplish more, but if your daily exercise sessions become uncomfortable and painful, you may be more likely to quit. So listen to your body, don’t be in a rush to accomplish more, and aim for consistency.

Get your ecg device for home and monitor your heart regularly.



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