Heart Failure and Physical Activity
If you have heart failure, you may wonder if physical activity is good for you. How could putting more strain on your heart and making it work harder be a good thing? The heart is a muscle, and like other muscles, it gets stronger with use.
Regular and moderate physical activity, such as walking, swimming, or biking, can improve heart failure symptoms, reduce stress, and increase energy levels. It can also decrease blood pressure, improve circulation, and help you lose weight--important factors in staying healthy, especially when you have heart failure.
Being physically active with this condition can be a struggle, and you may have to follow certain precautions. Talk with your health care provider before starting a physical activity program. If you’re not used to physical activity and are nervous about starting, your health care provider can help you develop a physical activity plan that fits your needs.
- Foster, Sarah, RN, MPH
- MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician