Heart Problems? Can You Still Seek Personal Training?

If you've recently been considering using the services of a personal trainer to help get back into shape, you may feel stymied if you have a physical condition (such as congestive heart failure or uncontrolled high blood pressure) that may complicate your fitness efforts. However, patients suffering from cardiovascular issues can often benefit from physical exercise even more than other groups. Read on to learn more about how personal training is performed for those dealing with heart problems, as well as a few guidelines you should keep in mind when selecting your personal trainer.

Is personal training a good idea if you have heart disease? 

Regardless of your current physical state, physical exercise can almost always benefit your overall health. Cardiovascular exercise in particular is designed to strengthen your heart muscles and improve the heart's ability to pump oxygenated blood throughout the body. However, when simply walking up a short flight of stairs can leave you winded, you may wonder about any negative health effects that might come from suddenly embarking on a new exercise regimen.

Personal training is actually uniquely suited for those who may have exercise restrictions or areas of specific focus. If you delve into a new exercise regimen on your own, without the guidance of a physician or fitness expert, you are at greater risk of injury than if you begin exercising under the guidance of a trainer experienced in cardiovascular therapy.

What types of exercises can you do if you have heart disease?

Heart disease shouldn't prohibit you from any light or moderate exercise, as long as you keep your body's warning signs in mind. If your heart rate begins to rise quickly or you find yourself becoming too winded to carry on a conversation, that's a sign you need to dial your regimen back. Your trainer will help ease you into your exercise routine to avoid these situations, and may require you to wear a heart or oxygen monitor to ensure that your levels are all within the healthy range.

How can you select a personal trainer?

Most gyms have several trainers on staff, and may be able to recommend one or more who has experience in designing exercise programs for those struggling with high blood pressure or heart disease. Another good referral source may be your cardiologist -- your doctor likely has at least one trainer to whom he or she makes referrals for those who need heart-sensitive physical therapy.