Open heart surgery or bypass is a common operation performed to make new paths that help the blood bypass blocked arteries that supply heart muscles. This restores blood flow and heart health.

Exercise is an integral component post bypass surgery during the recovery period. Cardiac rehabilitation not only enables you to heal faster, but also ensures that you can return to your normal active lifestyle at the earliest. Regular exercise and physical activity is needed to keep your heart healthy even if you have had a cardiac surgery. Participation in cardiac rehabilitation programs reduces mortality by 25% in all patients. However, before starting any kind of exercise or cardiac rehab program always consult your doctor.

The best kind of exercise for all cardiac patients is walking; this has tremendous benefits in the long term. Brisk walking for 30 mins at least for 3-5 days a week is ideally recommended.

Exercise that includes both weight training and resistance training increases functional capacity and independence. Muscles of chest and back balance each other. Muscles work like a pulley; if one group of muscles is strengthened, the other set will be lengthened. Thus, when working on chest muscles, one also have to work on the back muscles. Do not start with heavy weights; work it up gradually and always remember to never overdo it.

Exercises For Your Chest And Heart Muscles

This simple exercise is recommended by all cardiac experts. Stand with one foot about 3 feet in front of the other. Hold a chair or some railing for balance. Keep your upper torso straight, and bend your knees and legs forward toward the floor. Do not let your knee, which is in the front, bend over your toe. Push back through your front heel to come up again.

Repeat 8-10 times and then switch legs. However, cardiac patients should start gradually by doing only one set twice a week.

This basic exercise is simple and can be done anywhere. It does not require any preparation and helps to strengthen all the muscles in your body. This helps to build your cardiac fitness as well.

These stretches help to increase flexibility and improve overall stamina and strength. These help to build the muscles of the chest and upper body.

  • Sit upright and straight on a chair. Lift your shoulder above your head as far as you can. Try to push gently up towards the ceiling and then lower down. Repeat with the other arm. Repeat this slowly four to five times in both the arms.
  • Sit on a chair keeping your hips and feet straight facing forward. Turn your head and trunk as much as you can go, initially to the right and then to the left side. Repeat this slowly four to five times.
  • Stand up on your feet with your feet slightly apart. Keep your hands by your sides. Gently slide your left hand toward your left knee so that you bend at your waist. Repeat with the right hand toward the right knee. Repeat this slowly four to five times.

Stretches should be done slowly and gently. They should be done only up till you are comfortable. Anything that is painful should be stopped immediately.

Gradually, you will be able to increase the intensity of your daily workout. Exercising five times a week for 20 mins can help you increase your overall fitness. Avoid trauma or stress to the breast bone by avoiding lifting, pushing, or pulling heavy objects. Muscles in your chest will gradually heal, and it is advised not to do heavy arm workouts 12 weeks post surgery. This can disrupt or delay the process of healing.