Gym and fitness: Hey people, newbie... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

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Gym and fitness


Hey people, newbie here asking for some advice. I’ve been recovering from a heart attack caused by myocarditis for around 3 months.

I was wondering how do I try to incorporate a active gym lifestyle with the condition? I’ve been back to work for 6 weeks after taken 6 weeks off and feel as if I can start going back into that routine.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

5 Replies
skid112Heart Star

hi there,

no reason not to but speak with your GP first. Also the gym, does it have any personnel trained in heart issues? I use a personal trainer who has experience and monitors me and sets me exercises to suit


I have no experience of recovery as still 4 weeks away from OHS. However I have already spoken to a local gym and a trainer who claims qualified to give cardio rehab advice and set a safe training regime. As Mark states, this should be under the direction and advice of your GP to set heart max rate levels or training zones. With this in mind, a heart rate monitor would be invaluable - I've used one to monitor my declining exercise capacity! Not a big fan of indoor exercise but have been using an e-bike which gives me pedal assistance when needed; hills, fatigue or the onset of angina symptoms. Of course the electric support is optional but you do have to pedal - it's not a mobility scooter. Hopefully that's a good few years away yet. Hope it goes well for you incorporating gym sessions in your work/life balance. It can only be a positive move.

Ashleigh_BHFBHF Nurse

Hi Bmcgnr16

Sorry to hear you've had a rough few months. Exercise will be very beneficial to you in the long run but it's important to phase it in gradually and ask your cardiologist when they recommend you can start exercising again (as everyone is different depending on their condition).

You may be eligible for a cardiac rehabilitation programme, which is an excellent resource of information but also exercise classes that help you understand what your body will be comfortable with and make sure you don't overdo it in the beginning. This website: provides information on cardiac rehab classes and you may be able to find some locally to you. You usually need a GP referral to attend (if you haven't already been booked onto a programme by your cardiology team).

If you need further assistance finding a local cardiac rehab class please call our Heart Helpline on 0300 330 3311 and we can find the closest one to you.

Best of luck!


I was referred to cardiac rehabilitation following my AVR in August. This has been carefully supervised and I now attend the gym to follow a programme devised by one of the cardiac trained personal trainers. All of this was organised via the cardiac team at the hospital. It can be frustrating to have to wait and seemingly do things slowly but I'm sure the advice and supervision is the safest way of carrying on.

Good luck.

I am under investigation for myocarditis at present. I have been trying to find out more about the condition online. Everything i have seen suggests avoiding strenuous exercise for 6 months post myocarditis to allow your heart to recover. I think it would be wise to speak to your doctor/consultant before starting at the gym.

Just out of interest did they indicate if your myocarditis was acute? I have read that acute cases tend to recover quicker and 3 months seems to be pretty good in terms of recovery.

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