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Getting regular exercise when you have heart disease is important to help strengthen your heart and can help to manage symptoms and reduce chest pains. Other benefits of exercising include, lowering your blood pressure, cholesterol levels and if you have diabetes, it can help you control your blood sugar.

Millions of people in the UK are living with the burden of heart disease, many experience a heart attack, angina or a related condition putting them at high risk. Millions of people are prescribed pills for the rest of their lives to control their blood pressure or cholesterol levels.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Research shows there is an essential and simple way to help prevent and manage heart disease and many of its risk factors leading an active lifestyle.

A physically active lifestyle gains massive benefits. By being active you will:

  • Help your heart pump more efficiently
  • Help to lower and maintain healthy cholesterol levels
  • Keep your blood pressure within a healthy range
  • Improve your blood circulation
  • Lose any excess weight more easily and maintain the weight loss
  • Help reduce body fat content, including abdominal fat
  • Help manage diabetes
  • Reduce your risk of having a heart attack and stroke
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Have more energy and aid your balance
  • Feel happier, feel less stressed and be able to relax more easily

Always talk with your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you have had:

  • You recently had a heart attack.
  • You have been having chest pain or pressure, or shortness of breath.
  • You have diabetes.
  • You recently had a heart procedure or heart surgery.

You may be advised to attend a phase III or phase IV cardiac rehabilitation or Exercise on Referral service, to help you safely exercise.

Aerobic activity uses your heart and lungs for a long period of time. It also helps your heart use oxygen better and improves blood flow. You want to make your heart work a little harder every time, but not too hard.


Fact Zone

If you do not take regular exercise, it’s important to build it up gradually and not to overdo it at first, that way you are more likely to persevere.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the UK's biggest killer, causing around 82,000 deaths each year. About one in five men and one in eight women die from the disease.
Your heart is a muscle and it needs you to take regular exercise at moderate intensity, so that your heart beats a little faster and you feel a little out of breath but still able to hold a conversation.
Go for aerobic exercise that uses large movements with your arms and legs.