Find the Right Balance of Exercise and Rest

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.