Welcome Terri - great advice so far. I too have difficulty with exercise. Right now I can't walk farther than down my driveway but I'm having a leaky mitral valve fixed on Wednesday (hopefully - I was to have it done in Dec. but it was cancelled after a day of laying around waiting for my turn for the procedure!). They say it won't make my pre-existing heart condition any better but will make it easier for my heart to function. I figure that's got to make the other better! I usually, and will start up again after my procedure, to do aquafit exercises at the YMCA pool. I took a class for over a year but just do them on my own now. I was up to an hour plus 12 mins of water jogging but as the leak in my valve increased, I was able to do less and less. I find exercising in the water therapeutic and much much more easy to do than out of the water - the buoyancy helps so much with balance and you have a greater range of movement in the water that you couldn't hope to achieve out of it. Most public pools that have aquafit classes usually have more than one level. Ours range from a very light slow class for the elderly, ill, arthritic, and/or starters to very very energetic. I do mine in the warm therapy pool but some do it in the colder deeper pool. There is a Team in SparkPeople called Chair Exercise Team and I have found them very supportive and helpful and some of the exercise videos they talk about on YouTube might be something you could do. Be sure to look at the menus across the top of the SparkPeople pages and look over the articles/videos one. There is lots to read about and view for all levels of activity, as well as information on nutrition and heart issues. A lot of us with heart issues have to carefully watch how much sodium we eat in a day but there are many in SparkPeople who do not. Remember that when a recipe is recommended as a healthy or great or whatever type recipe, if you have a special nutrient restriction or requirement, that you check out the recipe to see if it is indeed a healthy or great recipe for you and your needs. There are so many differing needs of the many many people on here that no one could come up with a recipe or exercise that is perfect for everyone. Just be aware and read things through before trying them. Start slow and work your way forward. Good luck on your journey. You've come to the right place for support.
Lin from Peterborough, ON., Canada
10 STEPS TO SELF-CARE - If it feels wrong, don't do it; Say "exactly" what you mean; Don't be a people pleaser; Trust your instincts; Never speak bad about yourself; Never give up on your dreams; Don't be afraid to say "No"; Don't be afraid to say "Yes"; Be kind to yourself; Let go of what you can't control; Stay away from drama and negativity as much as possible. (unknown)
Maintaining a healthy diet is the most important part of this. As for exercise, stay within what your doctor advises but do some strength training.
I got myself some light dumb bells to start off with and did some exercises just with body weight. I looked up the exercises on YouTube and did what I could. It doesn't take very long to build up to heavier weights and higher reps without over exerting yourself.
The same with cardio. Walking is the best place to start. Don't think you have to race walk. Just get going at a comfortable pace either out-of-doors, at the mall if the weather's bad, or at home to a walk aerobics video. Maybe you can only do 15 minutes today, but if you keep at it your time and pace will increase.
Achieve success in any area of life by identifying the optimum strategies and repeating them until they become habit - Charles Givens
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