Resistance exercises may seem counter-intuitive after open-heart surgery, but lifting some weight (be it yours or some iron) can help you heal. Surgery and bed rest contribute to muscle atrophy (wasting away), muscle/joint stiffness, and balance issues, but resistance training can offset these negative effects. By regaining your strength and improving your exercise tolerance, you can quickly return to your activities and maintain your independence.
At 8 to 12 weeks, when your sternum is healed, you can begin moderate-intensity, dynamic resistance training with your cardiologist’s approval. Be sure there is no movement in your sternum (i.e., pain, cracking, popping, or feelings of pulling on the incision). Your weight training routine should progress at a gradual and consistent pace with the guidance of a clinical exercise physiologist. Continue reading “Building a Better Body After Open-Heart Surgery”