If you’ve gone through a heart attack or another heart ailment, you understand how debilitating and frightening it can be. Paced activity, starting slowly, having a support network to gradually improve mental/emotional well-being, and very gradually building up, are all keys to improving your heart health. It takes about 10 days after a heart attack for most people to begin some form of gentle exercise, but please consult your cardiologist, cardiac rehabilitation nurse, family doctor or physiotherapist before trying any below options:



Before you begin your instructed exercise routine, stretch for 5 – 10 minutes. Gentle yoga stretches like cat cow and triangle against a wall can help release tension from the spine, chest and hips. After your routine ensure you take 5 – 10 minutes to cool down as well.


Aerobic activity

Walking, swimming, biking or light jogging are all great ways to exercise the heart and lungs. It helps your heart use oxygen more efficiently, while improving blood flow. We recommend beginning with walking. Pace yourself. On your first day you may only get 50 – 100 meters and that’s okay. Gradually over time you will be able to walk more and more. Be sure to not put your body through any shock, so avoid walking outside if it’s really hot or cold.

Here’s our recommended walking planning (please check with doctor prior to using):


Week 1: About 5 minutes each time

Week 2: About 10 minutes each time

Week 3: About 15 minutes each time

Week 4: About 20 minutes each time

Week 5: About 25 minutes each time

Week 6: About 30 minutes each time

After 6 weeks, you may be able to start swimming, but stay away from very hot or very cold water. You can also start playing golf. Start with an easy game, possibly just hitting the balls.


Get into the habit of journaling your activity. Describing and documenting your exercise, workouts and food intake allows you to have a better picture of your own progress. It will also give insight to your doctors and nurses.

Before you start exercising, your doctor or healthcare professional should provide you recommendations for exercise and an exercise plan. DO NOT change your exercise plan before talking to your doctor, because your exercise plan (amount and intensity) will depend on how active you were before the heart attack or how severe it was. Take it easy at first and slowly build on your progress.

To take the next plunge on your health journey, contact InsideOut Health + Fitness today for a complimentary consultation.