Health Advice



Heart disease doesn't have to bench you

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

When professional athletes come back from an injury, they may think they're as good as new, but impatience can backfire. Take LeBron James. He was sidelined with a strained groin on Christmas Day 2018 as the Lakers played Golden State. Although he came back strong a month later, he was reinjured in a Christmas 2019 contest. Then in April of 2020, James sat out another game -- again for a sore groin.

Fortunately, most injuries don't sideline super-athletes or everyday folks permanently. You can even start or continue exercising if you have heart disease -- it can reduce your risk of premature death. You just want to plan your routine with your doctor so the intensity is safe for your condition. (Are you listening, LeBron?)

To help you get back in the game, the European Society of Cardiology has issued new guidelines on exercise for people with heart disease and heart-threatening obesity and diabetes.

1. Generally, exercise so your heart and breathing rates increase, but you can talk comfortably. Aim for 150 minutes a week. Our tip: Increase intensity by no more than 10% weekly.

2. If you have obesity, high blood pressure or diabetes, add strength-building exercises three times a week to a regular routine of moderate/vigorous aerobics.

3. "The chance of exercise triggering a cardiac arrest or heart attack is extremely low," says sports cardiologist Dr. Sanjay Sharma, chairman of the guidelines task force. But if exercise causes palpitations, unusual shortness of breath or chest discomfort, take it easy and see your doctor (ASAP). Now, that's a game-winning strategy!



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2020 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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