Having finished the Hospital Phase III rehabilitation program you can maintain your fitness levels that you started to see happening over those six – twelve weeks, by attending a community Phase IV cardiac rehabilitation program.
These specialist programs are with a fully qualified cardiac instructor at a local leisure centre or in a community halls. As well as attending the gym or doing the specialist classes available, you may also like to use the walking program below.
Please note that before commencing your daily walk to always allow 1 hour after a main meal, and avoid walking in very hot and humid or very cold and windy weather. Ensure that you have comfortable shoes or trainers on and if you have a heart rate monitor wear it so that you can check your heart rates. If you do not have a monitor, then use the 1 – 10 scale of perception.
Remember to always warm up before doing any strenuous exercise. The warm up must last at least 15 minutes and on the perception scale be between weak and light which is1 – 2. Your warm up can be done at home before leaving the house, or if you have travelled out by car to walk then take the first 15 minutes at a gentle strolling pace.
Once you have warmed up then increase the pace to what you would consider to be a brisk walk up to 4 on scale. You should be able to talk but you are aware that you are now feeling much warmer, even slightly sweaty. If you can hold an in depth conversation then your walking speed would probably need to be increased, if you are unable to talk then you are working too hard. You will also need to adjust your walking speed to take into account any hills or steep slopes.
Once you have completed your brisk walk, always ensure that you have enough energy left to walk slowly for a further 10 minutes to allow your heart rate to come down. It is also recommend that you the stretch after your walk to help prevent muscle soreness. Remember once you have warmed up to keep your legs going, and if you need to wait for traffic before crossing the road, to walk around until able to cross.
As far as how long you walk briskly for, that is down to you, but if you are able to work in the gym on the treadmill, rower and cross trainer for 10 minutes each then you should very easily be able to walk for 40+ minutes. If you have the time, aim for an hour’s brisk walk.
Most importantly of all remember to listen to your body, don’t over do it. If you are ill or have a temperature then stay at home and rest. If your heart rate is higher or lower than what is normal for you, then again you should exercise.
One very important thing that you should be aware of when doing heart rehabilitation exercises is that your pulse rate should be regular. When resting you can check your pulse and it should be steady and regular. If you feel it fluttering or missing beats and this is not normal for you then you must go and see your Doctor and get it checked out.
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