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British Heart Foundation
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Excercise after stenting

Morning all, have been woken up early with my first Angina pains since having a restent a few weeks ago. I'm looking for some advice on exercise as I am struggling to get back to fitness this time around. I have been on Ramipril amongst a few other pills since the original stents being fitted last November. I have developed a cough and shortness of breath which makes exercise uncomfortable (my Dr says it is probably the Ramipril). Should I just work through the discomfort or build up the exercise slowly? It is beginning to get to me a bit as I am usually so fit and just tackle things as they happen, but this time I am struggling. Thanks for any help and advice.

Joan x

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Hi Joan, speak again to your doctor on the ramipril, there are alternatives that will not give you the dry cough.

Exercise, yes its a case of building up again I'm afraid, some walking to begin, gradually build up distance and pace. always make sure you can walk and hold a conversation at the same time, even if its just talking to yourself!

good luck

Mark

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Thank you Mark, I am doing some walking as I love to walk but wasn't sure if I should ignore the symptoms as the Dr didn't seem too bothered. I live in Spain and I think I caught the Dr on a bad day. I will continue walking and hopefully get back to my former self.

Joan x

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I used to be on it, the cough doesn't get any better, if it troubles you I would come off it

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I am due to see my Dr next week, I will mention it to him again then. Thank you Mark.

Joan x

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Hello Joan

The cough is very likely to be a result of taking Ramipril - its a well known unwanted side effect. If you are on a beta blocker as well, that may contribute to your shortness of breath. Usually, the side effects ease of your body gets used to them. I take both and feel 'normal' these days - certainly no cough and any breathlessness is because I am pushing my exercise regime (all walking).

So, in almost any circumstance, some exercise is better than none. Walking is an excellent exercise - its low impact, gets you out in the fresh air (which is never a bad thing) and its easy to adjust how much you do. The advice I was given (today as it happens) is to do what you can - build up what you do over a period of time, your body will tell you if you are doing too much and if you feel you can do more, do more. There are no hard and fast rules here - it is very much down to how you feel.

Steve

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Hi Steve, I do take a beta blocker as well, it's a comfort to know this is all normal and I will continue with the walking which I love. A couple of days after the initial fitting of the stentslast year I was re admitted to hospital with pneumonia and I was a little worried in case that was coming back.

Joan

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Hi Joan,

Build up your fitness slowly, but in your case if you developed a cough and shortness of breath I'd see a cardiologist first before doing any exercise to get reassurance everything is ok. Once given the green light I'd start with your heart rate in Zone 2-3 which is no more than 75% of your maximum Heart rate and keep this for at least 5-6 weeks, for example keeping your HR to no more than 140bpm you become quicker as well over the same exercise and your heart will become more efficient. Then start building up to Zone-3-4-5...in Zone 5 you should never exceed this more than a few minutes at a time. You need to workout your resting HR, maximum HR then there are plenty of ways to work out your HR Zone's on google.

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Thank you rouluer i will check all of that out. I do enjoy exercise but not getting too much information on it here in Spain, I was just told to walk for about 3 hours a week when I was discharged from hospital. I went straight on the internet and downloaded a couple of leaflets about exercise after stenting and my condition. I have found this site and all the people on it so helpful and friendly.

Joan x

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Build ur stamina up slowly but do what you want within reason. Don’t be scared wen u get out of breath. I have sed to be scared the minute I got out of breath but my cardiologist told me not to freak and just take a break.

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Thanks gal4God, I'm going to start again slowly and keep a check on HR and follow the Zones and hopefully be sensible. I lost a bit of confidence when one of my stents collapsed after about 7 months of having them fitted, at that time I was walking a lot in Wales up hills and everything, then it all went wrong and I was in hospital again, you are right I need to build my confidence slowly.

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Hi Joan,

Walking is great, when I had an emergency stent 2 and half years ago, I started with walking then built up to cycling, running and swimming. Walking is a great start, maybe walk faster if you feel ok to build your heart strength. And eat healthy, natural food. Veges & fruits, if your hungry eat fruit! Fruit supplies lots of nutrients and sugars for energy. I eat a lot of fruits and veges, salads etc these days, the secret is eat everything natural, hard to do but you'll feel great....yes I raid the pantry for maybe not so healthy food but much less than I use to!

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My diet is healthy living here in Spain we have lots of lovely veg and fruit, Salad is a big thing here and fish. Walking by the sea is my favourite thing to do I must admit so I am going to plan a bit more and get back into it. I am still walking but not as much as I used to so that is my goal.

Joan x

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I too started with Ramipril - a well known side effect is a dry cough - and eventually got changed to Bisoprolol and Candesartan - and the cough vanished !

A few months after my stent I was walking a lot, a year later I was running for exercise, and another year later I was a member of a local Running Club ! - eventually doing more than 50 "parkruns", my best time for 5K was only just over 30 minutes.

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