Question: Do I need to take any precautions when engaging in physical work?
Answer: For someone who already knows that they have heart disease, either a heart attack or blocked up arteries or even valvular heart disease, it's really important to talk with your cardiologist about precautions to take before engaging in strenuous activity. We encourage strenuous activity for almost all people under the right circumstances, so we shouldn't misjudge this to mean don't participate in strenuous activity.
The real issue is: how do you get yourself in the right condition to undertake activity under the right conditions. So for most people, if there's significant damage to the heart, it's very important to exercise regularly so that when you do participate in heavy work, for example in the work place, you're in the best condition possible. And then if you know you're going to do something particularly strenuous, to warm up before you engage in that activity, so that your body is adjusted already to the demand that will suddenly come upon the heart and the blood vessels.
But again it's very important to recognize that people with heart disease will do better if they exercise over time. So exercise under the right precautions, the right activity at work, and not just taking it easy. It's a very important part of taking care of yourself if you have heart disease.
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