Heart Failure and Exercise

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Heart Failure and Exercise

Physical activity can play an important role in preventing and managing heart failure. Join us on October 21 for our Walk with a Doc program to learn from our heart failure experts and get some good aerobic exercise.

It's no secret physical activity is vital for the prevention of heart disease.

But what about when the heart is already damaged or weakened by heart failure?

Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood throughto meet the body's needs for blood and oxygen. Basically, the heart does not pump as well as it should.

Heart failure can't be cured, but symptoms can be managed. Proper treatment can slow further damage to the heart. Treatment usually starts with lifestyle changes and medications prescribed by your doctor. It is important to follow all of your doctor's recommendations for diet, medication and exercise.

Your doctor may prescribe a regular cardiovascular exercise program to help improve symptoms, increase strength, slow progression of the disease and overall help you feel better. A doctor may recommend a cardiac rehabilitation program to exercise safely in a controlled environment.

Moderate aerobic activity is recommended for people with stabilized heart failure to improve quality of life. In general, that means exercising for 20 to 30 minutes at least five times a week. It is important to start slowly and follow all of your doctor's recommendations.

Physicians often suggest a walking program as a way to get exercise. Walking is a form of aerobic exercise and is one of the easiest ways to improve your health.

Doylestown Health offers a monthly program called Walk with a Doc. Each event begins with a short health discussion given by a Doylestown Health physician, followed by a 30- to 45-minute walk around the Doylestown Hospital campus.

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About Doylestown Health's Heart & Vascular Services

Expert cardiologists and cardiac surgeons assist patients and physicians with managing risk factors for heart disease, offer advanced treatment options and provide outstanding emergency cardiac care. Doylestown Hospital’s accredited Chest Pain Center is fully prepared to treat cardiac emergencies around the clock, focusing on rapid diagnosis and effective treatment. The multidisciplinary team at the Richard A. Reif Heart Institute is dedicated to providing the highest level of quality care and patient safety.

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