Life Health & Wellbeing

Friday 13 December 2019

Don't be afraid to exercise with heart failure, caution experts

People with heart failure should not be afraid to exercise.
People with heart failure should not be afraid to exercise.

Around 90,000 people in Ireland are living with heart failure. It can develop at any age but becomes more common as people get older.

Now, the latest advice is that they should not be afraid to exercise. It is associated with a longer life in patients with heart failure, according to research presented to the World Congress on Acute Heart Failure.

It follows analysis of more than 4,000 patients which showed a mortality benefit from exercise regardless of heart failure severity, age and gender.

"Patients with heart failure should not be scared of exercise damaging them or killing them," said principal investigator Professor Rod Taylor of the University of Exeter Medical School in Exeter, UK.

"The message for heart failure patients is clear. Exercise is good for you, it will make you feel better, and it could potentially make you live longer.

"If heart failure patients are active we can be pretty sure that they will live longer. The simple advice would be to not take up marathon running.

"This is about increasing one's routine physical activity - for example walking for 20 to 30 minutes three times a week at an intensity that makes you feel a little bit breathless, but not necessarily symptomatic," he added.

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