Muscle-building exercise that's easy on the heart?
July 5, 2011 11:04 AM Subscribe
What are some good muscle-building, resistance-based exercises that don't place a lot of strain on the heart?
posted by Bardolph to health & fitness (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Asking on behalf of a friend, mid-30s, who has an aortic valve defect (of medium-level severity, currently asymptomatic) and some regurgitation. He's on an ACE inhibitor. He was told by a doctor long ago to "avoid all weight-lifting exercises" because of the heart, and is currently really struggling to maintain a healthy weight using diet and light cardio alone.
My instincts are that a male of this age is ultimately going to need to build some muscle in order to stay healthy and keep his weight down-- but he also needs to avoid activities that'd strain his heart. Occasionally, overexertion (like running up a hill, running too fast on the treadmill) has caused him to feel faint-- I'm guessing because of the meds?-- but he seems to be able to casually lift heavy things in daily life (furniture, playfully picking up 125-lb girlfriend, etc.) without issues.
I'm looking for ideas for resistance activities that might work in this situation. Obviously, he'd check any new exercise plan with his doctor first, but most cardiologists don't seem to be especially well up on fitness physiology, so I think it'd really help for him to have some concrete ideas to ask about, rather than simply asking a physician what she recommends. Any suggestions for external resources would likewise be very welcome-- either specific to the heart thing OR on the importance of resistance vs. cardio+dieting in general (friend remains semi-unconvinced). Thanks!