We know that keeping active has so many benefits, including protecting your heart and lungs, reducing pain and improving your mental health. However, if you haven’t exercised for a while, starting to get active again can be intimidating, especially if you have a long term health condition.

The good news is that everyone can become more active, no matter your age or health conditions.

Today we’ll be looking at how to get more active with some common long term conditions.

Heart Disease

Research tells us that exercise is a key part of managing many heart conditions. It can also help you to recover from a heart attack or heart surgery.

Cardiac Rehabilitation is offered by most local NHS trusts, you can find out more about it by clicking here.

Speak to a health professional who can give you guidance on the right type of exercise for you. For example, high intensity exercise may not be right for everyone.

Try to do enough the aim is to do 150 minutes of exercise a week. You can break this up through the week, for example doing 5 30 minute sessions a week.

Work at the right intensity you should exercise to a moderate intensity; this means your breathing will be faster but you should still be able to speak

Do exercises that challenge your strength resistance exercises should be done twice a week; you should aim to do 10 repetitions of the exercise

Choose activities you enjoy this will make it more likely you’ll stick at it

Safety first! Don’t exercise if you have chest pain, palpitations or experience dizziness 

If you need help you can talk to a Physiotherapist to help you design an exercise programme that works for you; click here to get in touch with Severn Physiotherapy. You can also talk to your GP, specialist nurse or your local gym

Respiratory Condition

Research shows that exercise can really improve your quality of life if you have a lung condition. Most NHS trusts offer a Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programme to offer support with exercise as well as education.

Use breathing techniques there are lots of different techniques to help you manage your breathlessness; one key way is known as “blow as you go”: breath in before you do an effortful movement then blow out with the effort. Alternatively, when you breathe out, try pursing your lips like your blowing out a candle

Pacing it’s best to start gently and then work up to harder exercises

Make it sociable try exercising with a friend or think of joining a group through the British Lung Foundation. The most important thing is that you enjoy exercising

Use your inhaler make sure you know how to use your inhalers properly and have your reliever inhaler with you when you exercise

Keep motivated set yourself small goals to track your progress

If you need help you can talk to a Physiotherapist to help you design an exercise programme that works for you; click here to get in touch with Severn Physiotherapy. You can also talk to your GP, specialist nurse or your local gym. This blog post explains the role of Physiotherapy in respiratory conditions.

If you’d like to see if we can help you, get in touch today for a no-obligation chat about your needs.