Living With Angina: I'm on a cardiac... - British Heart Fou...

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Living With Angina

Chappychap profile image

I'm on a cardiac rehabilitation course following bypass surgery. One of the cardiac nurses running the course explained they've had many people with angina symptoms, and those people are often surprised at the relatively high level of exercise they can achieve during the course without suffering any angina pain.

Her explanation was very interesting and I thought I'd pass it on in case anyone found it relevant.

The nurse pointed out that we always complete an extended, 15 minute long, warm-up routine. During that warm-up the arteries will naturally dilate and allow more blood to pass. Consequently many people with angina find that with pre-dilated arteries they can perform much more strenuous activities than they were used to. This learning has application outside the course, say someone with angina was faced with a number of tasks like putting the bins out or changing the bed sheets. Her advice was take 15 minutes walking on the spot to throughly warm up, but then complete ALL the tasks without cooling down between each one.

Her point was that going cold into a task will almost certainly trigger angina pain, where as a proper warm up will dilate the arteries more throughly than a GTN spray and allow you to complete more than you thought you could without angina pain.

Hope someone finds that of interest.

7 Replies

VERY logical... A bit like some athletes who stretch and warm up before a race I guess.


This is useful advice, thank you for sharing it.

Joan x

As always you give good advice - I know this really works. Another dimension to this is when I go to the gym - if I try and rush the 'warm up routine when I go into an exercise mode my heart rate rockets to 160 /170 which is not desirable whereas focusing on a steadily increasing warm up before going into an exercise routine results in an ideal heart rate for me of 110. For those who don't like going to a Gym it's still important to warm up when going for a walk. Start off with slow steady pace for 15 minute before entering a brisk walk. Equally important is to wind down for 15 minute and not suddenly stop your activity. Like cheeky says you may find you can do more.

That is useful advice. I have found as well in the mornings it takes a while to get going. I take meds with breakfast and if I start being active quit soon afterwards I can get breathless. I will try and remember to cool down too, don't always do that, if I get in from a walk in the cold, I tend to walk the last bit faster and then sit down with a cup of tea.

That was really useful information, thanks for sharing it. I've exercised regularly since my 30s and never warmed up so although I now warm up before exercise I never thought to do it before tasks.

Thanks very much Chappychap. I'm going out for a walk later so I'll start off slowly and work up, plus cool down.

Yes very interesting. I'm on cardiac rehab 2 find it very good makes you feel good. Even at home I do the exercises haven't tho since I had the cardioversion last thursday

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