Things to be discussed with your doctor before you start
Always check with your doctor first before starting an exercise program. Your doctor can help you find a program for your level of fitness and physical condition.
Here are some discussion questions:
How much exercise can I do? How often can I exercise each week? What type of exercise should I do? What type of activities should I avoid? Should I take my medication(s) at a certain time around my exercise schedule? Do I have to take my pulse while exercising?
Your doctor may decide to do a stress test or an echocardiogram, or to modify your medications.
Always check with your doctor first before starting any exercise.
Avoid too much isometric exercises such as pushups and situps. Isometric exercises involve straining muscles against other muscles or an immovable object, Don't exercise outdoors when it is too cold, hot or humid without checking with your doctor first. High humidity may cause you to tire more quickly. Extreme temperatures can interfere with circulation, make breathing difficult and cause chest pain. Better choices are indoor activities such as mall walking or a treadmill, Make sure you stay hydrated – within reason. It is important to drink water even before you feel thirsty, especially on hot days. But, be careful not to drink too much water.
Check with your doctor first!, if your exercise program has been interrupted for more than a few days (for example, due to illness, vacation or bad weather), make sure you ease back into the routine.
Start with a reduced level of activity, and gradually increase it until you are back where you started.
Warnings during exercise:
There are some precautions you must keep in mind when developing an exercise program: Stop the exercise if you become overly fatigued or short of breath. Discuss the symptoms with your doctor, or schedule an appointment for evaluation, Do not exercise if you are not feeling well or were very recently ill. You should wait a few days after all symptoms disappear before restarting the exercise program. If uncertain, check with your doctor first, If you have persistent shortness of breath, rest and consult doctor. The doctor may make changes in medications, diet or fluid restrictions, Stop the activity if you develop a rapid or irregular heartbeat or have palpitations.
Check your pulse after you have rested for 15 minutes. If it's above 120 beats per minute at rest, consult doctor, If you experience pain, don't ignore it. If you have chest pain or pain anywhere else in the body, do not allow the activity to continue seek urgent care.
Dr Farooq Ahmed Ganie.
Assistant Professor cardiovascular thoracic surgery SKIMS Srinagar