What is the Best Exercise Following A Stent

SBest Exercise Following A Stento what is the best exercise following a stent?

Answering the question what is the best exercise following a stent  really depends on you and what you did physically before your stent. Prior to my stent I trained regularly about five times per week.  After my stent I was back in the gym within a week. I’m certain that being physically fit prior to my stent helped tremendously in my recovery.  That’s me though, everyone is not the same and as I said above the best type of training following a stent depends on you!

So why is exercise important after a stent?

The general consensus in the medical world is that exercise is good for hearts including hearts that have been stented or had other procedures such as by-pass surgery.

Your heart is a muscle (a very special muscle but nevertheless a muscle). The average heart beats 72 times per minute.  Below is a calculation showing how many times the average heart beats in an average 52 year life time:

in 1 min = 72
in 1 hour = 72 * 60 = 4320
in 1 day = 72 * 60 *24 = 103680
in 1 year = 72 * 60 * 24 * 365 = 37843200
in Avg life span = 72 * 60 * 24 * 365 * 52 = 1967846400

As you can see, the heart is an amazing piece of engineering a muscular pump like no other pump, and like all muscles it needs exercise to keep it strong.  You only get one heart and you need to look after it.

The level of exercise you should do depends on how conditioned you and your heart are.   If you have never exercised it would not be a good idea to do extreme training (especially following a stent).

What level of exercise?

Fitness levels vary, I know people who have had stents but who have not done any exercise for years.  Exercise for them needs to be light but regular to start with. Walking is a great way to start exercising again and this can be done only a few days after your stent placement providing you feel up to it.  Most people are unsure of what exactly to do following a stent.  Depending on where you live there may be cardiac rehabilitation clinics, check them out it will be well worth it.  They will advise you on a structured exercise programme to assist your recovery but will also monitor you progress and support you through your recovery phase.  If you do not have a facility such as this, speak to your Cardiologist or doctor for advice and support.  As a rule any form of exercise done regularly is good, walking is great, swimming is great. I found riding a bike and using a cross trainer in the gym worked for me because I was able to control the level of resistance.

The golden rule when starting to exercise is to listen to your body, take it slow and don’t rush it.  It took years for the artery to be come narrowed in the first place, you don’t want to mess things up now by doing too much too soon.

So what if you were fit and active before your stent? 

Same as above, you still have to listen to your body and take it easy. Your aim is to get back you your normal routine as soon as possible.  There is no time scale on this some people will do it quickly some will take longer.  It really depends on what you have had done to your heart, if you are having a stent post heart attack, have had multiple stent placements or have a lack of energy or feel lethargic you progress will be slower.

Establishing an exercise routine is vital to you future recovery.  The key if there is one is finding an activity that you are passionate about.  If you can do this, before you know it you will be in the habit of exercising and will probably keep it up for the rest of your life.  Taking action is the vital first step to your success and ultimately to remaining healthy in the future.

Are there any precautions I should take?

After you have a stent placement, you are normally prescribed anti-clotting medications for a period to avoid life-threatening blood clots. Any injury received during exercise can be dangerous when you are on this type of medication, so as we have said above you should discuss appropriate physical activity with your rehab specialist, cardiologist or doctor.  It is recommended that you avoid vigorous exercise and heavy lifting for a short time after a stent procedure and stop exercising immediately if you feel any pain or discomfort in you chest. Your cardiologist can tell you when physical activity is safe.

What will exercise do for you? 

I’ve said a lot about exercising following a stent but what will exercise actually do for you?  What will you get out of all this huffing and puffing and sweating?  Exercise is not just good for your heart it is also good for you as a whole.  Here are a few of the benefits you can get from regular exercise:

  • It helps to reduce stress
  • It helps with Joint lubrication and increased range of motion for those of us with arthritis
  • It helps rebuild bone for those of us with osteoporosis
  • It helps to strengthen abdominal muscles for those of us with lower back pain weakness
  • It helps to relieve constipation
  • It  boosts your immune system
  • It improves sleep
  • It helps to keep blood pressure under control
  • It helps in lowering cholesterol and triglycerides and can help prevent artery clogging and damage

For anyone who has undergone stent placement, exercise is an essential part of the long term recovery of your heart. Ignore it at your peril. Knowing What is the Best Exercise Following A Stent is can make all the difference to you and your future well-being.

14 Comments

  1. 01/17/2014    

    hi,
    I had an stent one and half year back. Now all is normal. my question: I play tennis ,do yoga and jogging. Is intense exercise bad for the stent? I mean can it be dislodged with all the jumping and strong breathing?

    thanks

    • admin admin
      01/17/2014    

      If you were exercising before the stent there is no reason you cannot get back to a similar level of fitness. Obviously you have to build things up slowly and listen to you your body but if you keep away from the really extreme stuff you should be okay. I had mine in 2010 and I returned back to training within a few weeks and been hitting the gym four of five times per week ever since. Glad to see your made a full recovery.

  2. Venkat Aravamudan Venkat Aravamudan
    01/07/2015    

    Hi

    Your blog is very informative. I had a stent procedure 6 months ago. I do walking for about 30-40 minutes a day and that’s it. I am keen to do some more cardiac and weight reduction exercises. Can I do abdominal crunches now that I had a stent procedure?

    Regards

    • admin admin
      02/08/2015    

      Hi,

      It’s great that you are out and exercising, walking is great. The only rule to go by is to listen to your body. I was back in the gym a week after my Stent and back to almost normal activity after a month but all through my recovery period I listened to what my body said and never over did it. There’s no problem with you increasing your heart rate, doing weights and abdominal exercises etc. However if you do and you start to feel anything it’s important that you stop immediately. If it persists you need to go see your doctor. Have a read of this post I did on exercising following a stent http://stentblog.net/what-is-the-best-exercise-following-a-stent it may help you. Hope everything goes well for you let me know how you get on.

      Best wishes

      Dave

  3. hazel meakins hazel meakins
    01/15/2015    

    2 years ago I had a stent, what kind of exercise can I do indoors

    • admin admin
      02/08/2015    

      Hi Hazel,
      If you’ve e not done anything for a couple of year’s best start slow, I did this post following my Stent which you may find helpful http://stentblog.net/what-is-the-best-exercise-following-a-stent. Most of the exercises you can do in a gym can be done in the home given a little thought. For instance you can run on the spot or skip, or walk up and down stairs instead of walking outside. There are thousands of floor type exercises like sit ups, crunches press-ups dips between two chairs the list goes on. It all depends on your level of fitness now and what you think you can manage. Read the article and try to be a little creative and you can create a great home work out. There’s no doubt about it exercise is a must for anyone who has had a Stent, especially if you want to avoid another, Good luck with the exercise hope it works out well for you.

      Dave

  4. Scott Mercer Scott Mercer
    05/23/2015    

    I lifted weights 5 days a week before I had my stent. I feel fine but have lost a lot of my body strength. I want my life back. Can I start lifting weights again, slowly and then more challenging?

    I have many physical ting I want to do again, backpacking. kyaking, etc. etc.

    • admin admin
      05/24/2015    

      Hi Scot,

      As I have said before this is all about how you feel and listening to your body as you exercise. There is no problem starting weights again however just be a bit clever about it. Not sure how much weight you were moving but it wouldn’t be smart to jump straight back in with massive weights it would be much better to start with a weight which you find comfortable and build it up over a number of months. If at any time you start to feel anything untoward the advice is always to stop.

      As far at the backpacking, kayaking, etc. etc. it exactly the same start off with something you’re comfortable with and build it up over time. If you’re a bit nervous about backpacking or Kayaking on your own go with a friend or a group and bring a mobile phone with you for a little more reassurance,

      The absolute best thing you can do for your heart in the long term is to exercise. After all your heart is a muscle (a very special muscle) and like all other muscles it need to work to stay strong. As long as you’re sensible in the beginning you should get back to somewhere like your pre-stent training regime over time.

      Good luck for the future Scot hope everything works out well for you. Let me know how it goes for you its always inice to see how people get on.

  5. Rashmi kargwal khan Rashmi kargwal khan
    09/04/2015    

    Hi,

    My mother in law got a stent in 2008, she’s not a very active person and has never been. For about a year now she has started going for walks (morning and eve) for about 20-25 mins each. But her lifestyle otherwise is very sedentary. She isn’t losing weight, infact has gained quite a bit in the past year. I just wanted to know if it’s ok to introduce her to some more physical activity than just walking, maybe yoga. Please help

    Thanks

    • admin admin
      02/10/2016    

      Hi sorry for not getting back had a problem with a plugin stopping comments showing. The simple answer is most definitely. Anything which gets your mother in law more active is great. Yoga is an excellent place to start. As long as you mother in law does note expereience andy difficulties most activities will be fine. If you have any doubts its always a good idea to pop along to you doctors and discuss the best way to move forward.

  6. Manish Dhawan Manish Dhawan
    11/03/2015    

    Hi
    Me really finding these info and reviews helpfull.
    I am 34 yrs old and had stent placement in april 2015 i use to do heavy weights before my heart attack my doc say due to genetic reason this happend, no cholesterol problem also . i started working out 2 months bck. I do brist walk and running simultaneously for 30 min on treadmill and further continue with light weight training 1 to 1.30 hrs a day and 6 days a week…I want to ask if i do abs training will it effect my heart or stent….

    Thanks and regards

    • admin admin
      02/10/2016    

      Hi sorry for not getting back had a problem with a plugin stopping comments showing. Your doing great with you training schedule keep it up if you can. It will pay dividends in the future I’m sure. I cant see any reason why you cant d bring ab workouts in to your training schedule. aslon as your not doing them for hours on end it should be fine. As always though if you feel anything is not quite right stop what you are doing and get things checked. Good luck for the future and keep up that training schedule.

  7. Deborah B. Deborah B.
    01/20/2016    

    I am three months out from a heart attack and stents. I was riding 160-180 miles a week on my bike at fairly good paces prior to my heart attack. After the heart attack I felt like I lost my life when the doctor told me I couldn’t ride for a very long time.
    I went to cardiac rehab for 10 weeks after my heart attack and have been walking daily since then.
    I think it’s time for me to start getting back on the bike now.
    My question is this … the cardiac care nurses at rehab had me keeping my pulse rate at 101 or below.. for me this is extremely difficult. Should I worry so much about my pulse rate .. or more about how I feel exercising ?
    Any help you could provide would be extremely helpful.

    • admin admin
      02/10/2016    

      Hi Deborah, sorry for not getting back had a problem with a plugin stopping comments showing. This can be a tricky one because everyone is different. My resting heart rate was pretty slow before my stent 46-50 bmp following the stent I went on to a standard course of medication which included beta blockers. This brought my resting heart rate down to38-40. I found that if I got up suddenly say from a chair I would get dizzy. Now I knew this was the beta blockers and went to see my GP who was reluctant to take me off them and referred me back to my cardiac consultant. After my obs were taken which showed my HR and BP were low he took me off the medication.
      The reason am stating this is that the vast majority of people will be fine with the beta blocker and in many they will help but for some like me they gave me problem. Your recovery is personal as we are all different. You were very fit before your episode the level of fitness you attain now will be determined by the amount of damage done to your heart during the heart attack and the only way to find this out is by testing yourself. Now the aftermath of a major medical situation like this will shake anyone’s confidence but doing no exercise will be as bad as going flat out. A good balance is what’s needed and to strike this balance you need to ask questions both of yourself and the health care professionals who take care of you. Be honest with yourself and see how you really feel about going back on the bike if you think it will be a little scary make sure you go on a short ride and someone is with you or even better go to a gym again with a friend and use one of their indoor bikes to reacclimatize. Speak to the rehab nurse and tell her what you are thinking and ask here why your heart rate needs to be at or below 101 bpm there may be a perfectly good reason. So really it’s all about setting it up to win by ensuring that any exercise you do is well thought through, you speak to your rehab nurse maybe your doctor to ask any advice. If you haven’t already got a heart rate monitor get one so you can see what effect exercise is having on you. Set yourself a goal but start slow as you have done in you 10-week rehab phase and build the amount and intensity of your exercise up slowly. The most important thing is to listen to your body, if it feels wrong it probably is. Don’t be scared to slow down or stop If necessary and keep asking questions. Good luck with your recovery hope your back on that bike soon putting some miles in. Let me know how you get on…

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