It’s natural to feel nervous about getting back to physical activity if you’ve been diagnosed with a heart condition, and especially if you’ve had a heart attack or surgery.
Being active every day can have good effects on your heart. Aim to build up to the Heart Foundation recommended 30 minutes on most, if not all, days.
Regular, moderate-intensity activity, like brisk walking, is generally safe for most people. In fact it’s a vital part of your return to everyday life, and it can help you avoid further heart problems by managing risk factors like high blood pressure and being overweight. Being more active will make you feel more confident, happy and relaxed!
Walking is a good type of physical activity for people with heart disease because it’s gentle on your body and you can go at your own pace. Walking with other people can help with motivation and confidence.
The best thing you can do is talk with your doctor about your particular situation. Ask your doctor to register you for cardiac rehabilitation.
They can tell you when you can start being active and how to build up your activity levels.
If you’re recovering from a heart attack or heart surgery, talk to your surgeon or doctor about being active.
For information about having sex after heart attack or heart surgery, see Looking after yourself
These tips can help whether you’re recovering from a heart attack or surgery, or if you just haven’t been active for a while.
You can start with small amounts and build up. Before you know it you’ll be up to 30 minutes a day.
If you are just starting out, try this guide for building up your walking over 6 weeks. Once you’re up to 30 minutes a day, keep on going!
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Join Australia’s largest free community-based walking network. Heart Foundation Walking aims to make regular physical activity enjoyable and easy, especially for people who are not used to being active.