Ask our feel younger expert: Exercising after a heart attack

Ask our feel younger expert: Exercising after a heart attack

Julie says: Hopefully you were given a cardiac rehabilitation programme to help you recover. Ideally you should follow on from this by seeing a qualified fitness instructor who will devise you a personalised programme. They may suggest you use a heartrate monitor to help you stay in the most suitable ‘zone’ for you, depending on your medication. Your local gym should be able to help.

It’s important to build up your level of activity gradually. Aerobic exercise is recommended, such as walking, cycling, or swimming. At first you could aim to go for a short walk each day (even if it’s just down the garden) then build up the distance over time. If you can aim to walk for 20-30 mins every day that would be great.

It’s also important to keep your muscles strong with weight-bearing activities, but avoid lifting anything that’s too heavy and makes you hold your breath.

Exercising with others in a group environment is ideal so see if there’s a Heart Support Group near you ( to join with others who have been through the same experience. Good luck!

  • Julie Robinson is a specialist fitness instructor with a range of DVDs available at 0800 612 0450. Send your fitness questions to Julie via email at
  • There's more great advice from Julie in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.