Vim & Vigor - Summer 2018 - Parrish Medical Center - 41

Test Your
READINESS

To be sure you're safe to
exercise, it's always smart to test your
cardiovascular fitness. "A simple treadmill test is generally adequate and
advised in most cases of people who've
had heart disease, valvular disease,
blockages, coronary artery disease or
a combination of these," Fletcher says.
You can probably be tested in your
cardiologist's office or at a hospital.

Seek
SUPERVISION

If possible, begin in an exercise program prescribed and supervised
by a physician or nurse for the first 12
weeks or so, Fletcher says. For people
who aren't able to participate in a supervised program, he recommends starting
with slow walking or stationary cycling
in a health club once your care provider
clears you for exercise.

Use Your
Medications
AS PRESCRIBED

Taking medications at the wrong time of
day can have negative effects on your
workouts, Fletcher says. For example,
statin drugs prescribed for high cholesterol and beta-blockers used to treat
high blood pressure may cause drowsiness and should be taken at night.
"But many people don't take them at
the proper time and may have reactions
during exercise," Fletcher says. "And
some people don't take their medications at all, which is unfortunate because
they can be truly lifesaving drugs."

Focus on
AEROBIC
ACTIVITY

Stationary cycling and walking are two of
the simplest and safest forms of aerobic

exercise, which works to strengthen
your heart. "Swimming is also great,
and a lot of people prefer it because
of the low impact," Fletcher says.

Be Cautious
About WEIGHT
TRAINING

Weights put excessive pressure on
your chest and heart and cause more
strain than aerobic exercise, Fletcher
says. So, if you're going to work out
with weights, clear it with your doctor
first and follow his or her instructions
to the letter.

Be Mindful of the
WEATHER

Always ask your care provider before exercising outdoors in
extreme (hot or cold) weather. Avoid
excessive heat by exercising in the
morning or evening. If it's cold out,
keep your nose and mouth covered.
On days when it's simply too hot or
too cold, stroll your local mall in
climate-controlled comfort.

Pack Your
NITROGLYCERIN

Your doctor might have
prescribed nitroglycerin (via tablets
or spray form) to ease or prevent
chest pain. Always bring yours when
you exercise, in case of a cardiac
event. For most people who use caution, take medications and follow a
care provider's advice, working out
shouldn't be worrisome, Fletcher says.
"I have patients who say, 'I've got
a heart problem; I can't exercise.'
But that's not true. If it's properly
prescribed and supervised, it can be
very safe and effective," he says. "Life
can be a long time if you take care of
yourself and take the advice of your
healthcare provider." ■

DID YOU
OVERDO IT?
Exercising using a plan prescribed and
supervised by your care provider is a
safe practice. But what happens if you
experience cardiac symptoms?
"The benefit of exercising in a supervised program is immediate access to
care providers," says Shelly Radford,
clinical coordinator of cardiopulmonary
rehabilitation at Parrish Medical Center.
If you're not feeling well while exercising, tell your care provider immediately.
If you're having trouble while exercising independently, stay calm, rest and
take nitroglycerin. If you don't have
nitroglycerin and your symptoms don't
subside after a few minutes, call 911.
Common symptoms include:
3 Chest discomfort or pressure
(it's not always severe, crushing
chest pain)
3 Heaviness in the chest, arm,
neck or jaw
3 Shortness of breath
3 Gas pains or indigestion
3 Numbness in the arms
3 Turning pale or feeling lightheaded

CALL

A Road Map
to Recovery
If you've had a cardiac event,
you might benefit from cardiopulmonary rehabilitation,
which combines education
and individualized exercise
programs with the support
of a devoted multidisciplinary
team. For more information,
call 321-268-6726.

SU MM E R 2018

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