PATIENT EDUCATION MODULE 5
Learning to live with Angina

Let Your Body Set The Pace

If you have angina you must take care when exercising that  you donít bring on discomfort. Be aware of your limitations, and stick to activities that you can do comfortably.

The key is to let your body set the pace for you. Remember, it is how fast and hard you exercise that may bring on pain, not how long. Some other things to keep in mind are:

        Warm up gradually before exercising, and cool off afterward.

Donít exercise to the point of soreness.

        Donít do heavy exercise within two hours after your main meal or a light exercise(walking) within an hour.

        Donít exercise if you are very tired or not feeling well.

        Avoid exercises and activities that cause you to strain and hold your breath, for example: opening heavy or stiff windows, heavy lifting, snow (and other) shoveling, or hard pushing/pulling activities, especially for the first few months following your heart attack/surgery.

        Dress comfortably and for the weather. You may have to cut or skip your exercise in very cold, windy, hot or humid weather.

        Donít be embarrassed to rest.

        Donít exercise beyond the earliest sign of an anginal episode. If pain begins, stop. Take nitroglycerin if it has been prescribed.

        Be alert to what your body tells you. Tell your doctor if you have any symptoms during or after exercising. In particular, call your doctor if you have chest pain or experience breathlessness.

  Through regular exercise, you may be able to increase your physical stamina and increase the amount of activity you can do without feeling anginal discomfort. Exercising can also be beneficial if youíre trying to reduce other risk factors, such as high cholesterol, overweight, and high blood pressure. However, an exercise program alone will probably not be very helpful if these other factors are ignored.