Alycia Rahe, a member of the TriHealth Heart Institute Cardiac Rehabilitation team, speaks with Local 12's Liz Bonis about ways people with heart and lung conditions can safely strengthen their arm and leg muscles without hurting their backs.
How to Safely Rebuild Strength
“A person with these conditions can do lots of exercises to strengthen their arms and their legs,” Alycia points out. “I would suggest they start with either Thera-Band – or band – exercises, and free weights, or they can use their own body weight as well.”
Exercise #1 Thera-Band Curls
Anchor the band underneath one foot. Wrap the band securely around both palms and simultaneously pull each end of the band upward with both elbows at your side.
Exercise #2: Wall Push-Ups
Stand (facing a bare wall), lift your arms to shoulder level and place your palms against the wall so they are slightly wider than the width of your shoulders. Back your feet a couple feet away from the wall and lean forward, using your hands for support. Push away from the wall and repeat.
Exercise #3: Chair Sits
Stand in front of a vacant chair with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees and hips until your rear almost touches the seat (as your legs form a 90-degree angle). Then, slowly raise your body back into a standing position without locking your knees.
How Many Repetitions of Each Exercise Should I Perform?
Start out with eight repetitions of each exercise and slowly build up to 12.
Learn more about heart-healthy fitness tips in our Health Library: