If you have had a heart attack, you may be afraid to exercise. Or if you have never exercised, you may not know how to get started. However, after a heart attack, bypass surgery, or other procedure such as a surgery or pacemaker implantation, it really is important to be more active and make lifestyle changes that can lead to a stronger heart and better health. Not only that, cardiac rehabilitation can help you feel better and reduce your risk of future heart problems. It can be very beneficial for those who have undergone other procedures such as angioplasty, valve replacement, or who have arterial disease. Usually, the cardiac rehabilitation team at your hospital will help you work out a program that suits your age, capability, and your health goals; and exercise is a big part of getting you back to health, back to work, and helping you learn how to manage your heart condition.
The many benefits of cardiac rehabilitation include:
- Lower risk of fatal heart attack.
- Decreased severity of angina and decreased need for medicines to control angina.
- Reduced need for hospitalization because of heart problems. Costs for doctor visits and hospitalizations are reduced by 35% for those who participate in cardiac rehab. Visits to the emergency room are also reduced.
- Decreased blood pressure.
- Reduced shortness of breath and fatigue in people with heart failure.
- Ability to exercise longer (increased exercise tolerance).
- Lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Decreased emotional stress, depression, and anxiety.
- Significant weight loss when exercise is combined with other changes in lifestyle, such as eating a balanced diet.
So where do electric bikes come in? Well, stationary bikes are often a prescribed part of the initial stages of very low intensity exercise, which your doctor will assist you with. Once you're feeling a little more yourself again, you'll probably want to get out of the house- but maybe you're still feeling a little nervous about exerting yourself too much. An electric bike could be the answer, since the motor can kick in for hills, long stretches and whenever you do not quite feel up to it. You get all the benefits of cycling- wind in your face, exhilarating down-hills, and you'll be able to go longer distances than walking- without any of the strain on your heart!
And since the golden rule of recovering from heart conditions is to increase exercise intensity gradually, an electric bike is the perfect exercise tool, since you can control your exertion in increments and allow the bike to take over whenever it gets too much. An electric bike enables the rider to work either jointly with the motor, reducing strain and exertion on the body, or to ride independently of the motor when building up fitness and strength.
Cardiac rehabilitation guidelines usually suggest starting with cycling for up to 15 minutes, then gradually increasing the duration. With an electric bike there is that extra bit of help; everybody is different, and recovers at different rates. And, if you accidentally take on a bit too much too soon, you can rely upon an electric bike to assist you in returning home. You can also easily wear a heart monitor while cycling to make sure the exercise is appropriate to the program recommended by your doctor.
Some patients are not given the chance to try cardiac rehabilitation. Or they may start a program but drop out. This is especially true of women and older adults. If you have never exercised before, an endurance activity like cycling, although vital in the recovery process can seem daunting; but an electric bike provides extra confidence at a time when you need it most, and can take away a bit of the pressure. Since this is the time in your life when it is most important to exercise, finding a form of exercise that is enjoyable and not too intimidating is important.
After major surgery or when you are learning to manage a new condition, one of the hardest things can be staying positive. Being cooped up in the house on a stationary bike can often make people feel alone, or de-motivated to exercise; whereas the positive mental benefits of getting outdoors, as well as the endorphins released from exercising, will really help you feel more positive and motivated about managing your heart condition.
Why not get an electric bike for your partner too, and enjoy taking a ride out in the country together? Exploring your local area by bike is often a way to find things in your neighbourhood you never knew were there! In short, electric bikes can be extremely beneficial in the process of cardiac rehabilitation. They can help control the amount of pressure put on a recovering cardiovascular system, give riders confidence, and assist patients in the use of cycling as part of the recovery process- as well as providing a new, relaxing hobby, which anyone of any age or ability can enjoy.
(Please consult your doctor before undertaking any exercise as part of cardiac rehabilitation.)
Short summary for sites:
If you have had a heart attack, or you have been put on a cardiac rehabilitation program to help you manage a heart problem, it can be difficult to know how to ease yourself back into a fitness program- and daunting for those new to exercise. Cycling with an electric bike can help people on a cardiac rehabilitation program to feel more positive and achieve their health goals. Read on to see how an electric bike can help you!