British Heart Foundation

Road to recovery

So it's about 8 months since I had open heart surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm. I'm currently 44 and was pretty fit before surgery. I've been through cardiac rehab and over the summer I've rejoined a gym and am training with a personal trainer. I try to go once a week on my own too as well as walking and cycling around town. I'm working / volunteering part time at the moment.

I'm wondering what other people's experience of recovery is. I find that I get very tired after exercise or if I've had a busy day, I'm invariably wiped out the next day and have to rest.

Is this to be expected at this point? Should I be pushing myself / expect more at this stage of recovery?

I welcome to hear of other people's experience.

Many thanks


4 Replies

hello Edward, welcome to the forum. Lots of threads on exercise, here here here and here

My own experiences ten months in, joined a gym, i have a PT there and do plenty (not currently, shin splints) of walking, (we have our own Fitbit group of walkers here too). I also get wiped after a session or a day at work so thats very common, side effect of some of the meds too, especially beta blockers and ramipril.

You seem to already have an idea of your limits, if you push too hard then the following day/days you suffer tiredness. I'd say your age, your previous levels of fitness, you are about right, if the tiredness the following day is too much then reign it in a little. Most here have experiences where we believe we are invincible and do too much (me, shin splints) always followed by a set back. You and your body are the best judge, but remember its not about how you feel at at the time, its the day after.

good luck



Hi Mark. Many thanks for your response- really helpful! Yes I think that I've come to the same conclusion is that listening to your body is the best thing. I suppose naively I thought by now I'd feel fully recovered but it's a much slower and less linear journey.


Yes it is and like many here we don't make that adjustment easily, open heart surgery is a major event and our bodies take time to recover.

1 like

Yes me too, I can do a lot or a little, but I still seem to get tired, and I'm 10 months in. So I guess we are all going to exspireance this for sometime yet.

Very well done on the exercise you are doing. At least you can say you are tired for a good reason. 😊


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