Posted by: blackboy | 2005/11/23

age & exercising

Hey doc ,what are the dangers in an aged person with a heart problem doing physical exercise. Is it advisable for people with heart diseases to exercise?

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Our expert says:
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Hi Blackboy

It depends on the heart condition, I guess, the obvious danger is myocardial infarction, which is the medical way of saying that the heart doesn't get enough blood and then part of the muscle dies from a lack of oxygen. This is the common heart attack, and of course the risk exists that exercise, which places more demand on the heart, will expose any underlying problems. The first symptom will be breathlessness, and then chest pain, called angina of effort.

Having said all this, you have to still keep in mind that exercise is still benefical for people, but again, it all depends on the problem. I have assumed that it's coronary artery disease or some problem related to blood flow to the heart, but it can very easily be some other congenital defect and so the key, absolutely vital is that you must be in consultation with a doctor before you start and then the first few exercise sessions must also be supervised. It would be reckless to go any other way.

Good luck

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