Exercise after your heart transplant

After your heart transplant, you should make exercise and physical activity a regular part of your life to continue to improve your health and fitness. Exercising regularly helps you control your blood pressure, reduce stress, maintain a healthy weight, strengthen your bones and increase your physical function.

Your treatment team will create an exercise program to meet your needs. You'll participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program to help improve your endurance, strength and energy. Mayo Clinic in Minnesota offers a Cardiovascular Health Clinic for people who have had heart and blood vessel conditions (cardiovascular diseases). Mayo Clinic in Florida offers a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program for people who have had heart and lung conditions, or who have had a heart transplant. Mayo Clinic in Arizona's Cardiac Rehabilitation Program helps patients improve their heart health through exercise, nutrition and patient education.

Your exercise program may include warm-up exercises such as stretching or slow walking, and walking, bicycling, strength training and other activities for conditioning. You should cool down after you exercise, perhaps by walking slowly. Your team will tell you what's appropriate for you.

If you feel symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, irregular heart rate or dizziness, stop exercising. If your symptoms don't go away, contact your doctor.

Read more about cardiac rehabilitation.

July 11, 2013