Home / Patient / Patient Tools / Heart Failure Educational Modules / Module 5: Exercise and Activity with Heart Failure



One of most important ways that people with heart failure can maintain their sense of well-being is to keep active. In the past people with heart failure were advised to rest and give up many of their usual activities. But recent research has shown that activity including exercise, work, and sex is healthy and safe for most people with heart failure. Activity can help you feel better, may decrease your symptoms, and may improve your heart’s function. By keeping active, you may be able to do more of the things that you enjoy.

Even if you have never been active and are not very confident about your physical ability, you can take steps to become more active. However, be sure to talk to your doctor or nurse before starting an exercise program or increasing your activity level.

Cardiac rehabilitation is a structured program offered at many health care centers. It offers specialized staff to help you exercise safely,
undergo frequent monitoring of your condition, and learn how  to maintain a heart healthy lifestyle. Check with your health care provider about whether you can benefit from a referral to a cardiac rehabilitation program.

This module provides information on:

  • The benefits of activity.
  • Starting and maintaining an activity or regular exercise program.
  • How to conserve energy while doing everyday activities.
  • Going back to work.
  • Sexual activity and heart failure.

It will help you:

  • Build up your activity level.
  • Do more around the house.
  • Make an informed choice about employment.
  • Stay sexually active.
Becoming More Active With Heart Failure
Warming Up and Cooling Down
Other Tips and Guidelines for Activity
When You Should Not Be More Active
Doing More of What You Enjoy
Other Ways to Conserve Energy So You Can Be More Active
Sexual Activity
Personal Goals

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