Why your heart needs work – not rest! – after a heart attack

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

After surviving a heart attack, I couldn’t wait to start my 4-month cardiac rehabilitation program so I would just start feeling “normal” again. But when I showed up for my first assessment, I was disappointed by the cardiac nurse’s recommendation that, because of ongoing issues, I should wait two months until I felt much stronger before starting. A Canadian study from the University of Alberta now suggests, however, that earlier might just be better for many.

For best results in most clinically stable patients after a heart attack, these new findings suggest that early exercise as well as prolonged exercise may well be the key to the best post-heart attack outcomes.  Continue reading “Why your heart needs work – not rest! – after a heart attack”

Why taking a shower is so exhausting for heart attack survivors

by Carolyn Thomas  @HeartSisters

After being discharged from hospital following my heart attack, I was utterly gobsmacked by how exhausting even the most basic of daily activities now felt.  Taking a shower was a memorable example.  It left me feeling surprisingly weak, shaky and gasping for breath.

In fact, a routine shower usually meant a 20-minute lie down afterwards just to recover. That’s when I first read about METS.

METS stands for “metabolic equivalents.” Different daily activities are assigned different MET levels depending on how much physical energy they take to do (see the list below).  Continue reading “Why taking a shower is so exhausting for heart attack survivors”