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Peterborough Regional Vascular Health Network (VHN)
Is this an emergency? Patient Education & Resources Community Involvement and Events Authoritative Links & Sponsors
Is this an emergency? Patient Education & Resources Community Involvement and Events Authoritative Links & Sponsors

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Patient Education & Resources

Why Exercise?

It's an easy way to help you look and feel good. While your looks get in shape, your heart and health shape up as well. This is what can happen to those who exercise regularly:

  • The heart pumps blood and oxygen to the body with less effort
  • High blood pressure lowers
  • Body fat is lost
  • Blood fats get better - HDL (good cholesterol ) increases and triglycerides (bad fat) decrease
  • There is less mental stress, depression and anxiety

When To Exercise

  • The best time is before meals, or at least two hours after a meal
  • In summer, avoid the hottest times of the day: don't do anything strenuous if the temperature is over 85 degrees. Be careful if it is both hot and humid
  • Don't exercise if you have a cold or flu, or if you are not feeling well. Give yourself time to recover from your illness and then resume your exercise program

In Hot Weather

  • Wait for the coolest part of the day, and avoid exercising in direct sun
  • Drink plenty of fluids before and during the exercise session
  • Do not take salt tablets, even if you sweat a lot. Most of us get more than enough salt from our food

In Cold Weather

  • Dress warmly if you exercise outside (see tips below on what to wear)
  • If you have angina, you may want to exercise indoors during the cold weather
  • Many people who have angina find that cold weather increases the number of angina episodes they have. A face mask or scarf worn over the nose and mouth will warm the air and is often effective in reducing this problem
  • Walking in snow and on ice requires more energy than walking on a firm surface. Some of the increased work is due to the bulky clothing you are wearing. It may be necessary to walk at a slower pace to achieve the same conditioning heart rate, so pace yourself accordingly

What To Wear

  • For walking, wear clothes that are comfortable and loose-fitting
  • In cold weather, bundle up if you exercise outside. Wear gloves and a hat to keep in your body heat
  • Wear layers of clothing so that you can remove some of it as you warm up. (Don't wear heavy or rubberized garments that make you sweat heavily. They don't help you lose weight, and they could make you severely dehydrated.)
  • If you don't have comfortable walking shoes, invest in some. Take the advice of the sales people at a good shoe store or sporting goods store. More and more shoe companies now make specialized, high-quality walking shoes
  • Wear soft, absorbent socks

What To Bring

  • If your doctor prescribed nitroglycerin, keep supplies of nitroglycerin tablets or spray wherever you might need them - at home and at your place of work. In addition always carry nitroglycerin with you

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