The physiotherapist has developed a physical activity program of morning exercises and daily walking for you to complete during your first few weeks following surgery.
The program has been designed to help your recovery, build your endurance and prepare you for cardiac rehabilitation.
This physical activity program will be modified and progressed when you start Cardiac Rehabilitation, according to your abilities and personal goals.
Regular physical activity will help to:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve endurance, fitness and energy level
- Improve blood cholesterol
- Manage weight
- Manage stress
- Feel tired for the next few weeks
- Gradually increase your activity level
- Need frequent rest periods
Abnormal responses to exercise may include:
Nausea, headaches, dizziness, chest pain or palpitations
If you notice any of these, stop and rest until the symptoms decrease. If these symptoms persist, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
Call the nursing coordinator at the 24-hour access number: 613-696-7000, press 0 and ask for the Nursing Coordinator.
Physical Activity Tips
- Breathe steadily and in a relaxed manner while you exercise.
- Avoid straining and never hold your breath.
PACE AND INTENSITY:
- Walk at a pace that allows you to maintain light conversation during the activity.
- Walk on flat ground to start. If hills are unavoidable, walk more slowly when going uphill.
- It is best to wait up to an hour after a meal before you exercise. This is because extra energy is required for digestion.
- Avoid exercising in extreme temperatures.
- If it is very hot and humid, walk during the cooler part of the day such as in the morning and later at night.
- If it is extremely cold or windy, exercise indoors using stationary equipment or walk in the hallways of your house/apartment or in a mall.
- If you do choose to exercise outdoors in colder weather, walk during warmer times of the day and cover your face with a scarf to help warm the air before it reaches your lungs.
- It is important that you keep good posture.
- Try to keep your shoulders back and relaxed. Avoid slouching forward.
- Do not cross your legs as this slows down circulation and will increase the risk of developing blood clots in your legs.
YOUR ACTIVITY PROGRAM
Your activity program has two parts: a morning exercise routine and a daily walking program.
The day you return home from the hospital, you should rest. The next day, do your exercises in the morning and then start your walking.
MORNING EXERCISE ROUTINE
Sit straight in your chair with your feet flat on the floor, back supported and shoulders down.
Sit straight on a chair with your feet flat on the floor, back supported and shoulders down.
Lift both shoulders up as high as you can, and let them relax down.
Squeeze your shoulder blades together as far back as you can, until you feel a stretch across the front of your chest.
|Neck Stretching Exercises|
Keeping your head facing forward and shoulders down:
Cross your arms in front of your chest.
Sit with your back straight and hands in your lap or at your sides.
Holding a solid surface, place your feet shoulder width apart and keep your back straight.
DAILY WALKING PROGRAM
- Take two walks of equal duration each day.
- The first day, walk minutes in the morning and repeat the same in the afternoon.
- Increase the duration of your walk by minute(s) per day / every other day for days.
- At the end of days, you will be walking minutes twice a day, at a comfortable pace.
- Once you can walk minutes comfortably, start to increase your speed gradually over the next weeks, until you can walk miles or kilometres in minutes.
- Walk at a pace that is brisk but allows light conversation without becoming too short of breath.
- Continue this program until you begin cardiac rehabilitation.
Cardiac rehabilitation is a program of exercise, education, and counseling that will help you to make healthy heart living part of your everyday life. Before you leave the hospital, please make sure you have information from or an appointment with Cardiac Rehabilitation.
More information can be found on the Heart Institute website in the “For Patients & Family” section. For any questions about cardiac rehabilitation, please call 613-696-7068.
Keeping track of your recovery and activity in the Activity Log. It will help both you and your health care team see how much you have improved.