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January 27, 2022 3 min read

Do people with coronary artery disease (CAD) have to avoid exercising to preserve their heart health? Doctors used to tell patients that they had to stay home and avoid physical activity.

Now, experts agree that people with heart problems can exercise, as long as they do the right exercises.

Doctors now recommend regular, moderately intense exercise for people with coronary artery disease. But people need to be careful which activities they choose.

Here are some exercises that a person with heart disease can do:

Someone With Heart Disease Will Benefit From Cardio Exercise

Sometimes known as aerobic exercise, this is usually associated with dancing but there are many other things that can be done. This exercise involves repetitive movement of the large muscles in the body to get a person's heart rate elevated. 

The benefits of this include lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, improving blood flow, strengthening the heart and blood vessels, and more.

Key Tips:

  • Circuit training will be very helpful.
  • Go jogging.
  • Go rowing.
  • Go skating.
  • Play tennis.
  • Take a walk.
  • Use a jump rope.

Someone With Heart Disease Will Benefit From Flexibility Workouts

These exercises are usually about balancing and stretching. Musculoskeletal health gets a major boost from this. It means that joint pain, cramping and other muscular issues are easily prevented.  Exercises of this nature can help a person maintain their stability, which prevents falls and reduces the risk of injuries that restrict their flexibility. 

Key Tips:

  • Ask a doctor for basic home exercises.
  • Avoid bouncing or jerking.
  • Avoid overstretching.
  • Do not hold breath during stretches.
  • Hold stretch for 30 seconds minimum.
  • Keep breathing smooth and steady.
  • No rushing.
  • Search for videos online through resources such as YouTube.

Someone With Heart Disease Will Benefit From Strength Training

Strength training is also known as resistance training. In addition to the physical benefits of building muscle, it has been shown to be some of the most effective exercises for the human heart.

One study showed that resistance training lowers the risk of heart disease. For example, in a study published in 2019 (which included more than 13,000 people), resistance training was shown to be correlated with decreased heart disease, including stroke and heart attack. Another study published the same year showed the same results: resistance training lowered a person’s likelihood of developing any heart disease, including stroke and heart attack.

Specifically, those who received at least one hour of strength training per week were associated with an increased risk of heart disease by approximately 40% to 70%. In addition, strength training has a direct effect on body composition.

People who carry a significant amount of body fat will benefit from this workout greatly since it helps to reduce body fat and generates leaner muscle.

Key Tips:

  • Perform chin-ups.
  • Perform push-ups.
  • Perform squats.
  • Work out on weight machines with free weights.
  • Work out with resistance bands.


Heart disease is a serious issue that can lead to fatal consequences. Many people are under the misconception that it's best to hardly work out so as not to put a strain on the heart. In truth, there are exercises that are good for people with heart conditions. This includes flexibility workouts, strength training and cardio exercises.

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