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.

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