Information about Exercise and Angina

Although physical exertion is often what brings on an initial episode of angina, exercise—if your doctor feels you're ready—can be a crucial way to strengthen your heart and build up your tolerance for exertion. If you have angina, here's how to exercise right.

Start slow. Begin with about 15 minutes of leisurely walking about three days a week until your doctor thinks you're ready to kick it up a notch. Stay hydrated and gently stretch your muscles before you begin.

Walk with a friend. The American Heart Association suggests that everyone should aim to walk at least 30 minutes per day, five days a week. Walking with a friend can help you stick with your program and also ensures you've got support in an emergency.

Take your meds before you exercise. If you've been prescribed fast-acting nitrates, your doctor may recommend that you take a dose before exerting yourself—ask before you start any exercise program. If you feel angina coming on during exercise, stop and rest.

From our sister publication, Diabetes Focus (Fall 2011)

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 05 Aug 2011

Last Modified: 03 Oct 2014