Is it possible to strengthen a weak heart?


Quick Answer

Individuals who have experienced heart attacks or congestive heart failure can improve the strength of their heart with appropriate exercise combined with healthy eating habits, reports National Jewish Health. Always speak with your doctor to determine an appropriate level of exercise for your level of heath and overall fitness.

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Full Answer

The best kinds of physical workouts to improve heart strength are stretching, or cardiovascular/aerobic activities like running, walking and water aerobics. Aerobic workouts increase the body's ability to use oxygen while lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, says National Jewish Health. For the best result, work up to 20-30 minutes of exercise four times a week. Start simply walking 5 minutes per day if that is your limit and slowly build up. A complete routine involves a warm-up, conditioning and a cool-down period to help ease your heart in and out of the workout.

Those with a history of heart failure should avoid strenuous isometric workouts like pull-ups and push-ups and should be wary of extremes of hot and cold temperatures. It's better to walk indoors on a treadmill than outside during a blizzard or a heat wave, conditions that would require your heart to work much harder. If you experience chest pain or dizziness, stop your exercise and rest, according to National Jewish Health.

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