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Angioplasty and Stent | Best Exercise Guidelines For a Safe Recovery

Angioplasty and Stent | Best Exercise Guidelines For a Safe Recovery

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I have received numerous requests for an article on exercise after angioplasty with and without stent placement after my other articles on exercise after bypass surgeryheart attackheart valve surgery, general open heart surgeryatrial fibrillation, and implantable cardioverter defibrillators.  Ask and ye shall receive!

Table Of Contents

What is angioplasty?

Before we get into what angioplasty is, you must first understand that coronary artery disease causes narrowing of the blood vessels that feed blood to your heart.

It can result in symptoms like pain and/or pressure in the chest, neck, back, jaw, arms (collectively called angina), or, if left untreated, a heart attack (myocardial infarction).

A cardiac catheterisation procedure is often performed to determine the extent of the blockages in your arteries and, if necessary, angioplasty may be performed with or without stent placement.

The term angioplasty comes from the Greek words angio meaning “vessel” and plasticos meaning “fit for moulding” but in very simple terms, it’s just another name for a heart plumbing job.

The full name for the procedure is percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA).  

Translation: percutaneous means they pass an inflatable catheter through the skin (at your femoral artery in your groin area) traveling through the lumen (the space within your artery), up into your aorta, and then enter into your coronary blood vessels (the arteries that serve blood to the heart). 

Another common name for the procedure is percutaneous intervention or PCI.

Once the blockage is visualised, the doctor then passes the catheter into the blockage and inflates a small balloon to widen the blood vessel and reestablish blood flow.

What is a stent?

A stent is commonly inserted during angioplasty.  

A stent is a little wire mesh which keeps the artery open after the balloon has been removed and minimises the chance of the artery blocking up prematurely (restenosis).

The main types of stents include a bare metal stent and a drug-eluting (medicine-coated) stent, the latter of which helps prevent scar tissue from blocking the artery.

Angioplasty and stent procedure in images

angioplasty blocked artery
Blocked artery visualised during catheterisation
Angioplasty catheter insertion
Catheter, balloon, and stent inserted into blockage
Angioplasty balloon inflation
The balloon inflates the stent, pushing the plaque off to the side of the arterial wall.
Angioplasty stent deployment
The catheter and balloon are removed, leaving the stent in place with reestablished blood flow.
Angioplasty stent restored blood flow
Here you can see the artery in the middle of the image with blood flow reestablished. Compare to the first image.

Below is another example which prominently shows the difference in blood flow after arterial stenting.

Common medications

A number of cardiac medications are commonly prescribed to help minimise the risk of your artery reoccluding (blocking up again), as well as reducing cardiovascular disease risk factors (to prevent another blockage).

The thing you have to remember is that when it comes to coronary artery disease, it’s not always a case of the doctor “fixing it” with surgery. There is always a risk of blockages in other arteries.

So while I’m not a fan of pumping people full of medications, there are times where they can be a valuable adjunct to reduce your risk of a heart attack whilst making lifestyle changes.

Once you get your risk factors under control (i.e., lose weight, quit smoking, start exercising, reduce blood sugar (if diabetic), then you can discuss with your doctor the possibility of reducing or discontinuing some or all of your medications.

I’ve had a number of readers asking me about so-called “detox” teas after their surgery. Don’t touch them until you’ve read my SkinnyMint TeatoxSkinny Teatox, and Fit Tea review articles first.

If you have cardiovascular disease then these could be particularly dangerous (not to mention interactions with medications).

Beta-blockers

Beta-blockers slow down your heart rate which also helps to reduce blood pressure and, consequently, workload on the heart.

They also help relax your blood vessels which can help improve blood flow and reduce or prevent chest pain (angina).

Blood thinners 

Blood thinning medications like aspirin and Clopidogrel (Plavix) reduce the ability of your blood to clot, making it easier for blood to flow through narrowed arteries and reducing your risk of a heart attack.

Nitrates

Nitrates (such as nitroglycerin) are a common anti-angina medication which relax and widen your blood vessels to allow more blood flow to your heart muscle.  

Nitroglycerin comes in small tablets that you place under your tongue when having chest pain.

Statins

Statins are prescribed to lower your blood cholesterol.  They work by blocking precursor substances needed to synthesise cholesterol.  

Statins can help reduce the accumulation of plaque in your arterial walls which may reduce the chances of another blockage forming.

Calcium channel blockers

Calcium channel blockers affect the muscle cells in your arteries which help the blood vessels relax and widen.  This results in increased blood flow through your coronary arteries thus reducing or preventing angina.  

Certain calcium channel blockers slow the heart rate which reduces workload on your heart.

ACE inhibitors

Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors block an enzyme that produces angiotensin II, a substance which constricts your blood vessels.  

By blocking the formation of this substance, it helps relax your blood vessels to reduce blood pressure and workload on your heart.

Lifestyle changes

Most importantly, lifestyle changes are crucial after surgery.  

A combination of regular exercise, a prudent diet, quitting smoking (if you smoke), stress management, and behaviour modification to help you stick with it are all key pieces of the lifestyle puzzle.

Angioplasty is not a “cure” for your coronary artery disease.  

Like with medications, the procedure simply buys you more time to make important lifestyle changes which can reduce your risk of arteries reoccluding (blocking up again) or other arteries plugging up for a first time.

Healthy eating 

For more information on diet for people with coronary artery disease, please read Gabby Maston’s guest post on the paleo diet vs. the Mediterranean diet.

If you’re trying to lose body fat, be sure to check out my consumer advocacy articles that warn you of scams and tricks that will only leave you lighter in the wallet.

Benefits of exercise

It’s common sense.  We all know exercise is good for us, but here’s a laundry list of benefits to put you in an exercising kind of mood:

  • Reduced risk of a heart attack (or second heart attack if you’ve already had one)
  • Improved heart function (i.e., lower heart rate and blood pressure means less workload on the heart)
  • Increased anginal (chest pain) threshold.  The more fit you are, the harder you have to work to elicit chest pain (if there are blockages present)
  • Improvements in oxygen delivery (via the blood) and consumption (in your muscles)
  • Enhanced fuel selection with exercise (i.e., your body can tap into fat easier with better conditioning)
  • Body composition improvements (i.e., reduction in fat, particularly dangerous fat around the organs)
  • Improved blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity (if you have diabetes)
  • Increased functional ability (i.e., easier to perform activities of daily living like lifting boxes, gardening, cleaning the house)
  • Increased quality of life

When can I exercise?

After your surgery, you’ll probably feel great (provided you’ve not had a heart attack or other complications) because your heart muscle is now getting lots of oxygen through the newly reopened arteries.

BUT you must remember, even if you’re feeling better, know that there IS still healing happening on the inside.

I recall a client I had back in 2007. He called me up and said, “hey, I hear you’re the heart exercise guru.  Can you start training me today?”

Me:  “Well, not sure about the guru bit, but maybe I can help you. When did you have your angioplasty?”

Client: “Two days ago.”

Me:  “Right, ok, I’m going to grab you by the scruff of your neck, pull you back down to planet Earth, and save you from yourself.  

I’m glad you’re enthusiastic about getting back into exercise, but you still have some recovery and healing time ahead of you before we can work together.”

It’s important to give yourself at least a couple weeks of low activity recovery time after leaving the hospital.  

This means you can get out and do walks around the neighbourhood on level terrain, but leave the steep hills and pumping iron to Arnold (for now).

If you’re planning on doing some hard exercise (aerobic or strength training), I’d advise you to ask your cardiologist if a post-angioplasty treadmill stress test is appropriate.  

If you can tolerate high workloads without any signs or symptoms (ie., chest pain, shortness of breath) or unexpected arrhythmias on the electrocardiogram, then this is pretty good assurance that you’ll be able to push the higher exercise intensities on your own.

Whether or not you do a pre-exercise stress test, be sure to get your cardiologist’s approval before you get into any structured exercise (gym workouts, tennis, golf, etc).  

Make sure you understand the effects of your medications on the exercise response.

Aerobic exercise guidelines

When you’re first released from the hospital, it’s important that you’re up on your feet and moving around a bit but keeping the intensities low to allow for healing.  

Even if you think you can do a lot more, err on the side of caution and take it easy.

The following is an illustration of a sample exercise plan which may serve as a rough guide (provided your surgical team agrees). 

The aim is to wean yourself from shorter to longer exercise durations by minimizing how many exercise bouts you perform each day.

 WeekMinutesTimes per Day
13-56-8
25-104-5
310-153-4
415-203
525-302
630-452
7601

How often can I exercise? 

Start off with 3 to 4 days per week and work up from there.  

If you were previously active before surgery, then you do have the advantage of muscle memory and a residual training effect, but as I stated above, you need to “test out” your body during exercise and the effects of medication on your exercise response.  

Once you establish your fitness foundation, gradually work up to daily exercise sessions.

How hard can I exercise?  

The answer is always the same:  it depends.  

Exercise intensity can be a tricky one because depending on your current level of conditioning, you may be able to tolerate higher workloads than someone who was previously inactive before their angioplasty procedure.  

If you had a heart attack, then this can further complicate matters.

If you’re looking for a training target heart rate, then here are some basic calculations you can do.

 I’ll give examples below basing the calculations on a 50 year old man with a resting heart rate of 60 beats per minute.

Method 1: Straight heart rate calculation

1) Determine your theoretical max heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.  So:

220 – 50 = 170 bpm

If you have an actual MEASURED max heart rate from a stress test, then use that number instead.

2) Then calculate training percentages based on 170 bpm.  

So if you wanted to exercise at, say, 50 to 65% of your max heart rate, you’d calculate it as:

170 x .50 = 85 bpm
170 x .65 = 111 bpm.

Therefore your training heart rate range would be 85 – 111 bpm.

For 60 to 75%, it would be:

170 x .60 = 102 bpm
170 x .75 = 128 bpm

Therefore your training heart rate range would be 102 – 128 bpm.

Method 2: Karvonen method (aka heart rate reserve)

The Karvonen or heart rate reserve method is a little trickier but I’ll do my best to make it clear.

1)  As above, subtract your age from 220 to get your theoretical max heart rate.  So it’s 220 – 50 = 170.

2) Then subtract your resting heart rate from the result of step 1.  So 170 – 60 = 110.

3) Now calculate your training heart rate percentages from this.  If we use the 60 – 75% range it would be calculated as follows:

110 x .60 = 66
110 x .75 = 83

4) Now add your resting heart rate to these numbers.  So:

66 + 60 = 126 bpm
83 + 60 = 143 bpm

Therefore, your training heart rate range would be 126 to 143 bpm.

I would advise starting at the lower percentages and see how you fare.  It’s not a perfect science so you may need to adjust them if the training ranges are too easy.

If you have a hard time finding your pulse, get yourself a heart rate monitor or a Fitbit (which also tracks your non-exercise movement habits).

Also remember that if you’re taking medications that alter your heart rate (i.e., beta-blockers), then none of these calculations are going to be worth much.  

In that case, you’ll need to rely on what exercise physiologists call the “talk test.”  

If you can have a conversation with the person next to you while doing your exercise, then the intensity is probably sufficient.

The Borg rating of perceived exertion (RPE) 6 to 20 point scale is also quite useful.  The logic behind a 6 to 20 scale is that most people at rest or doing light activity have a heart rate between 60 to 90 bpm.  

If you’re working very hard, then you’re going to be around 170 to 200.  

So Borg decided to just drop the zeros and create a scale which is consistent with most heart rates at a given workload.  

This is particularly useful if you’re taking medications that slow your heart rate.  

There is a bit of a learning curve to it, so if you’re enrolled in a cardiac rehab program after your surgery, have the staff exercise physiologist explain the scale to you.

Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale

How many minutes should I do aerobic exercise?

I suggest easing into it.  Start off with 10-20 minute bouts of exercise and then work up from there.  

Also pay attention to how you feel both immediately after and the following day.  

If you feel absolutely drained by doing 20 minutes, then perhaps scale it back a bit and build up your conditioning to longer durations.

If you need to do several small intervals to accumulate your daily exercise minutes, then break them down into small intervals you can tolerate.

You might do 10 minutes, have a break, do another 10 minutes, have a break and then do a final 10 minute walking bout.

You’ve just accumulated 30 minutes of activity.  I often suggest working up to longer durations of 45+ minutes as tolerated.

Which types of aerobic exercise are best?

There are not set in stone guidelines for this, but aerobic exercises that incorporate the large musculature of your body (i.e., hips and legs) will give you the most exercise bang for your buck.  

Also be sure to pick exercises you enjoys since that will increase the likelihood you’re going to do it.

Aerobic exercise precautions

  • Get your doctor’s clearance to exercise first.  Ease into it and carefully work your way up to higher intensities and longer durations.
  • Perform a gradual 5 minute warm up to allow your heart and blood vessels to adapt to the exercise.  Jumping straight into high intensity exercise could potentially aggravate the stent and cause it to collapse (particularly immediately post-angioplasty).
  • While in the early recovery phase (1-2 days immediately post-op), avoid overexerting yourself with strenuous/vigorous exercise (unless advised to do so by your cardiologist or surgeon).  Pushing too hard can cause a sharp spike in your heart rate and blood pressure which might cause the stent to collapse (it can and does happen).  Use the ol’ KISS acronym:  Keep It Slow and Steady.
  • Walk or cycle on level surfaces to establish your fitness foundation. You’ll be able to handle the hills in due time. If you find yourself huffing and puffing, that should be an indicator to ease up on the accelerator!
  • Limit your exposure to environmental stressors such as extreme cold, heat, or strong winds. Any of these can make your usual exercise pace seem much more difficult.

Adverse signs and symptoms

Pay attention to any signs or symptoms associated with exercise.

Stop exercise if you experience chest pain, tightness, or discomfort, pain radiating down the arm or jaw, back pain between the shoulder blades, or shortness of breath,  

If it does not resolve by itself or continues to get worse during rest, seek emergency medical attention.

Angioplasty resistance / weight training guidelines

One of the common questions I get from my readers is “can I lift weights after an angioplasty/stent?”  The short answer is probably yes, but how much weight you lift is going to depend on a number of factors that will need to be discussed with your cardiologist.

Here are some questions you’ll need to bring up with your medical management team (i.e., cardiologist, nurses, cardiac rehab team):

  1. Did you have a heart attack?
  2. Was there any damage to your heart muscle?
  3. Do you have any arrhythmias stemming from the heart attack?
  4. Do you have high blood pressure?
  5. Are you taking medications to lower your heart rate and blood pressure?
  6. During the cardiac catheterisation, did they note how widespread the coronary artery disease was (i.e., one artery, two arteries, triple vessel disease)?
  7. Did they stent all the offending arteries or were there still arteries with lower levels of plaque they chose not to stent?
  8. Were you a regular weight lifter before your procedure?
  9. How much weight were you lifting?

By no means is this an exhaustive list, but they are questions that need to be addressed.  

If you had damage to your heart muscle, arrhythmias, or high blood pressure then high intensity weight lifting might be contraindicated (not advised).

If you had arteries with coronary artery disease which were not stented, then there is still a chance these plaques could rupture while lifting heavy weights.

If you were a weight lifter before the procedure then you might be able to tolerate weight training better than someone who is completely new to the gym.

How often can I lift weights after the procedure?

Consider starting off with 2 times per week and see how your body responds.  

Then work up to 3 – 4 days per week as tolerated.

How much weight can I lift? Can I lift heavy weights?

The answer is:  it depends.  

More than likely, you’ll be able to lift again, but how heavy you lift is going to depend on a number of factors.  

Refer to the list above regarding weight training considerations.  But ultimately, you’ll really need to discuss this with your medical management team.

How long should my weight lifting sessions be?

There’s no resolute answer to this since it’s going to depend on how many exercises you do and how many sets and reps of each exercise.  

This will be a bit of trial and error, but I would suggest paying attention to how you feel immediately after and the following day.  

If you feel exhausted and run down, then you may need to adjust the training duration.

What types of resistance exercise is best?

Resistance training comes in all shapes and sizes.  You can lift barbells, dumbbells, body weight, cables, kettle bells, or get creative with set of TRX straps.

With the recent rise in high intensity training, I’m often asked questions like “can I do Cross-Fit after an angioplasty/stent procedure?”

The short answer is, it depends. Speak to your doctor and discuss your options.

Resistance exercise precautions

  • Like with aerobic exercise, get your cardiologist’s clearance for exercise.
  • Before you get into weight training, I would advise building a good aerobic base first.  If you can tolerate reasonably high workloads, then this will provide more assurance that you can tolerate weight training.
  • Perform a light to moderate 10 minute cardio warm up on the bike or treadmill to allow your blood vessels to dilate a bit.  Jumping straight into heavy weights with no warm up could cause a sharp spike in blood pressure which might affect your stent.
  • Following on from above, beware of weight lifting in very cold or hot climates.  If in a cold climate, be sure get in a warm up.  In a hot climate, be sure you’re wearing breathable clothing that allows for proper cooling.  Use a fan to help cool your body.  Environmental stressors (either hot or cold) can force your heart to work harder than it would at an ambient temperature.

Take home message

The bottom line is that you can exercise safely after an angioplasty and stent, but you do need to take some precautions.

Whether you’re into aerobic or resistance training, speak with your cardiologist about your particular medical and exercise history and ask lots of questions.

If you were a hardcore fitness nut before your procedure, ask about getting a treadmill stress test (if feasible) to see how durable your ticker is.

I would also recommend attending cardiac rehab, as this is another way to get some feedback on your particular condition.

Pay attention to how your body responds to exercise while on medications.

Once you adapt to the precautions, there’s no good reason why you can’t live a healthy and active lifestyle again.

Please share your thoughts, experiences, or questions in the comments section below.

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Jim

Saturday 17th of April 2021

Hi all, I had a heart attack 4 years ago and have a pipeline of 6 stents in one artery.

I feel fine running and am running nearly as fast as before my heart event and am not sure if I should be trying harder. My cardio previously said to do what I did before heart attack.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Jim

Mark

Saturday 13th of February 2021

I received a saphenous vein bypass in 2004. In 2020 it became obstructed and was stented with a Boston Scientific Synergy. Actually two of them back to back, 3mm and 2mm. My cardiologist said my original artery was 98% obstructed. The rub is the bypass was to my inferior circumflex. It does not show up on a 12 lead ecg and was missed even with me on a treadmill with a Board Certified Cardiologist. What saved me was pain sending me to the ER and a 2nd Troponin test in the wee hours. They were going to send me home but offered me a chance to stay. So I doubt if any subsequent ecg is going to show much which means SWAG or nuclear perfusion treadmill. Or, just see how I feel. I used to XC ski. Now the general published advice is NO. Hardly do anything when it is colder than 40F. This is making me miserable and with Covid still rampaging, I don't want to go to a gym. I know how to dress warmly. I am glad to be "ok" but I hate this and I hate being in a sedentary, inside quandry. Any thoughts?

Dr Bill Sukala

Saturday 13th of February 2021

Hi Mark, Thanks for your comment and sorry to hear you're having a rough go of things. Yeah, coronary arteries don't always play by the rules and that's one of those tricky things that sometimes they have to figure out what's happening by other means. Most importantly, for right here and now, it's been sorted out. It'll just be a case of ongoing monitoring for signs and symptoms.

Regarding exercise, I can certainly understand how frustrating it is being physically active and not being able to do anything. Active people always have it harder when they're injured or forced out of commission for a while (thanks for nothing COVID!).

I would recommend looking for alternatives like setting up a home or garage gym (either at your home or at someone else's place). At least you could control the climate a bit to mitigate the cold and keep the temperature more stable.

If you're interested in exercising outdoors, I would recommend speaking to your cardiologist and associated medical management team (i.e., practice nurse etc) and see if you can get any additional information specific to your situation that might allow you to exercise outdoors. It's ultimately a case of balancing/minimising risk vs potential gains. In other words, the conversation you need to have is, if you're otherwise reasonably fit, can you exercise safely. If the alternative is sitting at home doing nothing, then a sedentary lifestyle also carries its own risks. So what's worse? Exercising in the cold (with precautions taken) or the potential health detriments associated doing nothing. I think if you can have that conversation with your cardiologist then perhaps you can find some middle ground.

Hang in there and feel free to stop back any time and leave another comment.

Kind regards, Bill

Jim Lewis

Sunday 22nd of November 2020

Hi Dr. Bill, Thank you for hosting this page, and all of your super thoughtful responses. In my case, I am a 61 year young man, who is an avid life athlete and 6 time Ironman finisher, including Hawaii! About month ago, I was having trouble with my workouts. Rewind 3 weeks, and I failed a stress test and wound with up 95% blockage in my "widow maker" artery. Crazy! I got stented and am now experiencing unusual symptoms. My body felt like it was "adjusting" to the new stent for a good 8 days or so. I would occasionally get tremors, but no fever. This went away and I would have some good days, and go for an easy hour ride, but would feel them again later in the day. I tried skiing yesterday for 3 hours, and just felt tired at the end. And had more tremors. Today I feel just a little drained. Taking the day off. I read your guidelines to easing back in, and wish I had seen this article before. My meds are aspirin, Prasugrel, Resovustatin, and Omeprezole. Is what I am feeling normal? Is it from the meds? Just over doing it a bit? Its how I am wired so its tough to hang low. Based on your experience, when does this really pass so that I can resume my usual crazy ways? Thanks so much for your straightforward down to earth plain English responses! All the best -Jim

Dr Bill Sukala

Monday 23rd of November 2020

Hi Jim, Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and for sharing your story.

I guess the first thing to remember, and this goes for everyone, no two people are identical and it's not uncommon for different people to have different experiences to the same procedure. I've seen people who've been through angioplasty/stent and didn't have any untoward effects. I've also seen others like yourself that have had quirky after effects. In many cases, assuming your doc is aware of it and has cleared you, these things can tend to pass on their own. Remember that sticking a catheter up into your coronary arteries is anything but "normal" to your heart. It doesn't like getting poked and prodded and, in some cases, there can be a localised internal irritation which could plausibly lead to symptoms as you describe. It's not comfortable, but at the same time, neither is walking around with 95% blockage in your left main artery!

The first port of call should always be your cardiologist (or anyone else on the team directly involved in your care). They'll be most familiar with your medical history and can probably provide you with a more specific explanation. Ideally, you'll want to speak with the cardiologist that did the intervention (in case you have a different cardiologist that managing your after care) who, if he/she had difficulty during the procedure, maybe they'll be able to give you a logical explanation.

As for your exercise, I always joke around with my athlete friends (and myself also being quite active) that athletes are THE WORST patients because your normal state is to ALWAYS be active and exercising. So when you have something go wrong with your heart or you have a musculoskeletal injury, you DO need to rest and let some healing happen on the inside. Unfortunately, the athlete's brain doesn't like to take no for an answer and we can be reluctant to heed the good advice to S-L-O-W D-O-W-N!

To be fair, there is a possibility the meds could have side effects, but again, it's important to speak to your doc about all these things. As you've seen me say in many of my responses, I'm an exercise physiologist and it's beyond my scope of practice to be able to comment on something that is ultimately the domain of your cardiologist. So the most I can do is at least give you some talking points which you should discuss with your doc.

In general though, it's always good advice to just give it at least a month post-stent to cool your jets and let the healing happen on the inside. Yes, stay active, but don't go red-lining it full throttle while your coronary artery is trying to heal and adapt to the stent.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards, Bill

Sanjai

Saturday 16th of May 2020

Very informative well researched and extremely helpful post. It has made me immensely knowledgable with the subject. Would like to more about the exercise which can be done on treadmill after having angioplasty three years ago and when the health parameters are fine except the blood sugar levels are little on higher side which I think is due to lack of exercise. Kind regards. Sanjai

Peter

Saturday 7th of March 2020

I had a heart attack with stent installed 2 weeks ago. I am 53 years old and in top physical condition (lifting heavy weights, run, play sports, active work) but have a family history of heart disease. I plan on taking it easy at first but wanted to know how long before I can begin lifting weights and running? I see my cardiologist for a follow-up next week and will ask him same questions. Just curious how you feel.

Dr Bill Sukala

Monday 9th of March 2020

Hi Peter, Thanks for your comment. Sorry to hear you had to go through all this but there are a number of positives working in your favour. First, the fact that you lead an active lifestyle more than likely prolonged the time until you had the heart attack. Second, your fitness level will certainly play a role in helping you get back on track with your routine. Third, while I'm not happy to hear you had a heart attack, at least now it's better the devil you know than the one you DON'T know.

There is no cookie cutter recommendation for how long until you can lift weights and do cardio, but there are general guidelines that need to be considered on a case by case basis. In the immediate post-operative phase, you have to remember that there is healing happening on the inside (even if you feel well). So it's important not to get your heart rate and blood pressure up too soon (at least a couple weeks or so). You can do what are known as "activities of daily living" so long as it's not anything excessively strenuous. Once you've been back to your cardiologist for a follow-up appointment, you'll likely get clearance to ease back into exercise. Rather than re-write my article here, spend some time reading the exercise section of this article and it will give you some guidelines to get back into it on the right track.

Bottom line: 1) make sure you're deemed medically stable by your doctor; 2) get clearance from your doctor to begin exercise again; 3) pay attention to any signs or symptoms moving forward. If anything feels off, get it checked out; 4) ease back into exercise. Even if you feel like you can do more, err on the side of caution and gradually work back up to higher intensities; 5) go for your scheduled periodic check-ups with your cardiologist;

If you do all those things then chances are you'll be fine. As I said above, it's better the devil you know than the one you don't know. And if you put safeguards in place then you can get things taken care of before they go from bad to worse. Hope this helps.

Kind regards, Bill