Exercise for the Heart Patient, for Postop Patients, and for the Hospitalized

E xercise has been portrayed as a means by which the healthy person can build more health, strength, and fitness. The weight of medical opinion today holds that exercise can and should have an important place in the life of the sick, disabled, or seriously handicapped person.

In each individual case the exercise has not only to be approved and recommended by a physician; the exercises or sports should also be specifically designed to correct problems or help the person regain physical health. At the least, exercises should make it possible for the ailing person to maintain some level of fitness.

Each exercise should be geared to fulfilling a particular purpose. Following breast surgery, a doctor may prescribe arm and shoulder exercises designed to restore strength in the woman's upper body. Following a coronary attack, a graduated program of walking or swimming may be prescribed. Before a heart attack, a person showing signs of severe tension may be told that he should engage in any of dozens of kinds of relaxing activities. These can range from yoga to golf to simple stretching exercises. Or they can include many other activities discussed in this chapter. In each instance, the exercises are chosen with the patient's problems and condition in mind.

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