Exercise When You Have Half A Heart, During Lockdown

We know that many of our young members have been told to isolate themselves to just the house and garden. Some are allowed a walk, run or ride in a wide open space. Getting used to being restricted is tough but working to try and keep fit can be even more of a challenge. We know that the Fontan circulation, the big operation that finally rearranges all the circulating blood, works best if it is looked after.

For the Fontan to work well, it needs:

  • Plenty of fluid- remember to drink.
  • Energy – remember to eat healthy food.
  • Sleep – time to replenish energy and rest the body.
  • Exercise – to help the circulation, the way the blood moves through the body, especially the legs.

Even if you have a single ventricle heart condition moderate exercise is good. Don’t sit still all day, get up and move around. Set a simple walk circuit around the house and use the stairs, they are a great form of inside exercise. There are some recommendations to help make sure the exercise is safe. If you are concerned about the type of exercise you or your child can do have a look at our Sports and Exercise information. Click here

So, what sort of exercise could you do in isolation?

PE With Joe: This is great to take part in, but remember if you are getting too breathless to talk – take a break, catch your breath and then join in again.

The British Heart Foundation has a great 10 minute workout – more adult focused.

Yoga for teenagers: a great way to relax and keep those muscles flexible.

What about a dance class in your sitting room? Disney tunes are always a firm favourite:

How about learning some simple street dance?

  • WiiFit set up in your sitting room this can be a great way to keep fit but remember that you need to follow the Golden Rule
  • Cycling in front of the TV. If you have an exercise bike set yourself a daily total. Gradually build the length of time you stay on the bike, or if you are smaller try this great technique. Click here
  • Set up an obstacle course in the garden.

As long as you slowly step up the exercise, remember to take a break if you get breathless and drink to re-hydrate all of the above suggestions can make a real difference.

Written by Suzie Hutchinson. Verified by Dr David Crossland.

Click here to download this page: Exercise When You Have Half A Heart, During Lockdown

Be social with us - our latest tweets and posts

    “Thank you very much for Chris' card. I cannot believe he is 18 and am so proud of the lovely young man he has become, overcoming the many challenges we have faced over the years, especially in the first 4 to 5 years. Thank you Little hearts matter for always being there.”

    Thank you to Chris and mum Philippa for sharing this fantastic news with us, we hope this brings some inspiration to the many families out there who are at the start of their half a heart journey.

    With YOUR help, we can continue to support the amazing young adults living with a single ventricle heart today, just like Chris here. All you need to do spare 30 seconds of your time every day to vote for LHM in Persimmon’s ‘Building Futures’ initiative.

    They don’t ask for any details, you simply click our logo on this page; biy.ly/support-lhm

    Please share x
    ... See MoreSee Less

    23 hours ago  ·  

    View on Facebook

    So pleased to see Amelia here, DILV, enjoying some cycling along with her sister Evie…

    “We’ve been doing a lot of cycling this week as both girls have grown in confidence. I’m amazed at Amelia’s stamina on the bike, doing much more exercise than she’s ever done. This is the girl that needs a buggy to get home from school (in normal life). She’s found a sport that she can comfortably do. She says she feels free when she’s cycling. That makes me happy and sad at the same time ❤ “Cycling makes me feel free, happy and like nothing is in my way””

    Riding a bike is great exercise for children, teenagers and adults with half a working heart. It helps get you from A to B but is also is supported exercise for the lower body and therefore provides good support for blood returning to the lungs. There are many incentives to help get you on a bike, at the moment.

    Learn more by jumping to our ‘get fit for winter’ resource here: www.lhm.org.uk/information/lifestyle-information/get-fit-for-winter/
    ... See MoreSee Less

    1 day ago  ·  

    View on Facebook