Congestive Heart Failure, let's get your life 'pumping' again!
Updated: Aug 15
For most of those individuals diagnosed with congestive heart failure, it brings a sense of overall lifestyle deterioration, not only physically but mentally too. However, is it really a diagnosis that can negatively affect the way you live your life or in other words stop life in its tracks?
Ok, yes congestive heart failure isn’t the greatest condition to deal with, seeing as the hearts function to pump blood around the body isn’t able to keep up with all the demands. Even so, do you really believe that encasing yourself in a stagnant little bubble at home on the couch is the answer?
Let’s have a look at the definition, symptoms and causes of congestive heart failure, and come up with the best way to tackle this condition head on.
The inability of the heart to pump blood efficiently to the organs in the body is known as congestive heart failure. The associated symptoms include shortness of breath when at rest, lethargy, wheezing and possible coughing up of pink mucus, dizziness, palpitations and swelling around the ankles and feet. The causes of congestive heart failure can be attributed to many factors or conditions including coronary artery disease, heart attacks, possible viral infections, weakness of heart muscles, high blood pressure and hyperthyroidism. The diagnosis of congestive heart failure depends on the various symptoms experienced, the stages and the progression of heart failure.
Seeing as the hearts function deteriorates and battles to keep up with increases in bodily demands, surely being stationary would be the best solution? I think not. Most of the above conditions mentioned can be attributed to lack of physical activity, therefore completely cutting out physical activity from your lifestyle, even with congestive heart failure, cannot be put any simpler than this… being sedentary can kill you and it’s time to get moving!
Studies conducted by The American Heart Association and The European Heart Failure Training Group, found that small increases in exercise can aid in the following congestive heart failure benefits:
· Prevent further deterioration in heart function
· Decrease associated congestive heart failure symptoms
· Strengthen the heart muscle and cardiovascular function
· Increase circulation and delivery of blood to the organs
· Improve exercise tolerance
· Decrease the chances of associated cardiac events and cardiac risk factors
· Improve the overall efficiency that the body can utilise oxygen (VO2)
So in short, being a couch potato and believing that this condition will get the better of you, will in fact get the better of you!
Consulting with your cardiologist before starting a cardiac rehabilitation program and obtaining exercise clearance, would be a good idea. As for the specialised and tailored program, the Biokineticist handle that.