When you have heart failure, it’s important to find the right balance of rest and physical activity. It’s a good idea to plan rest times during the day. You might take a nap after lunch and put your feet up for a few minutes every couple of hours. It’s also a good idea to plan light, low-level exercise into your day. Exercise has many benefits. It can help:
- Make your whole body stronger, including your heart
- Lower your blood pressure
- Help your body use oxygen better
- Give you more energy
- Improve your balance and flexibility
- Reduce joint pain
- Reduce stress, tension, anxiety, and depression
- Improve sleep
Before you decide what exercise to do, ask your care team what they recommend. Here are some other questions to ask your care team:
- How much should I exercise?
- Should I avoid any type of exercise?
- Do I need to check my pulse when I exercise?
- Do I need to take my medication at a certain time on days I exercise?
- Should I start a cardiac rehabilitation program? (These education and exercise programs are supervised by trained healthcare providers.)
Whatever you choose, make sure to talk with your care team about what’s right for you.