Safe Exercises After Heart Surgery

If you have undergone mitral valve repair or any other type of surgery, you understand how difficult it is to incorporate exercise into your recovery plan. Even after several weeks, you likely feel inclined to ease into a fitness routine and not overdo your efforts. As necessary as it is to exercise on a regular basis, you put your health at risk by over-exerting yourself. Luckily, you have options. Exercise does not need to be intense or painful. There are ways to strengthen your muscles and restore vitality to your heart without putting your health at risk. What are your options?


Walking is one of the best options for exercise. Even if you are in perfect health, walking is a great fitness solution. It helps you lose weight, improves cardiovascular health, increases flexibility, and eases minor aches and pains. Walking also helps you reduce stress, which is another important part of keeping your cardiovascular health in good shape. Many people choose walking as their preferred exercise because it is gentle and easy. There is no equipment needed and it gives you a chance to spend time outdoors enjoying nature.


Another option for those healing from mitral valve repair is swimming. Swimming can be a bit more of a challenge than walking because you need access to a pool, but if you have it, this is a fantastic low-impact workout. In addition to offering a gentle cardiovascular workout, swimming is also great for those suffering from arthritis or other conditions that cause aching joints or sore muscles. Many communities offer swimming classes or organized swimming sessions geared toward fitness, but you can also swim on you own. A few laps back and forth in the pool is a thorough fun workout. If you are not up to laps, just try walking through the water for about 20 minutes. Walking in water creates a gentle resistance, but there is little risk of injury because you are walking on a flat surface.

Recumbent Bike

Your final option for exercise after heart surgery is riding a stationary bike. Recumbent bikes are an excellent option because they provide a gentle cardiovascular workout in a seated position. Riders can choose how intense a workout they need and adjust resistance and speed based on their fitness level. If you are looking for a fun, comfortable workout, stationary biking is one of your best options.

Before you begin a fitness program, be sure to speak with your doctor. This is important for everyone, but especially necessary if you recently underwent heart surgery.

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