Frequently Asked Questions About Physical Activity

Questions and Answers:

Q. Is physical activity safe for people with heart problems?

For most heart patients, physical activity is not only safe, it's part of the treatment! Be sure to talk with your doctor before you start your physical activity program and follow the doctor's advice. The doctor may want you to have an exercise stress test to help determine a safe level of activity for you.

Q. What if I can't find time to engage in physical activities?

Break up your physical activity into a few short sessions throughout the day. Other things you can do include

  • Enjoy physical activity on weekend days, when you may have more time.
  • Consider buying a secondhand stationary bike or treadmill so you can be physically active while you watch TV.
  • Plan your physical activity schedule for the entire week and mark off the time on your calendar.

Q. Can people with heart disease lift weights?

Yes, most people with heart disease can lift weights. But if you had surgery, it's important for you not to push, pull or twist or lift more than five pounds for up to six weeks after your procedure. You can start with weights weighing about one pound and work up to heavier weights as you get stronger. 

Q. How can I include more physical activity in my life?

You can add physical activity to your daily life in many ways:

  • If you have a desk job, use your coffee breaks to take five- to 10-minute walks.
  • In parking lots, park your car as far away as you can.
  • Use a pedometer to count how many steps you take each day. Some health and fitness experts recommend increasing your daily step count by 1,000 steps each week until you reach 10,000 steps a day.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible.
  • Find more ways to include physical activity in your day.