Heart patients in North Warwickshire are being encouraged to get more active in a safe environment with a series of walks supported by health professionals.
The George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust in Nuneaton and the NHS Warwickshire North Clinical Commissioning Group (WNCCG) have partnered with local walking groups to offer three friendly ‘Walking for Health’ sessions, where cardiology patients can try walking with guidance and support from medics.
Emma West-Eggar, Heart Failure Clinical Nurse Specialist at George Eliot Hospital said: “Often patients feel nervous about taking up exercise when they have had heart problems.
“They will usually do well when exercising under hospital care, but once they are back home they lose confidence, so this is a way of encouraging them to be more active, safe in the knowledge that they won’t be over exerting themselves or putting themselves at risk.
“These are fairly easy walks and aren’t too long, so it’s a great starting point. The social aspect of walking with a group is a real boost too.”
Yasser Din, Commissioning Manager for Public Health WNCCG, added: “The walks are designed for a range of abilities, including people who may be getting back onto their feet after serious illness.
“Many participants who are currently members of the walking groups have life-long conditions which they are able to manage and live a fulfilling life by being part of these walking groups. The groups are very welcoming and usually finish the walk at the local cafe for a hot drink and a bite to eat, so it’s a great trip out.”
The first of the three sessions is due to take place on Thursday, September 13 at 1pm, with walkers meeting at The Methodist Church, 109 Rectory Road, Arley, CV7 8FR.
The next two meetings will take place:
- Monday, October 15 th , 1.30pm, Bulkington Village Centre, School Road, Bulkington, CV12 9JB.
- Monday, 12th November, 5.30pm, The Pingles Stadium, Avenue Road, Nuneaton, CV11 4LX
Each walk is designed to support a wide range of abilities from experienced hill walkers to people recovering from a serious illness. Walking helps people with health conditions improve their quality of life and may support their recovery.
For more information on getting active while living with a health condition, visit www.walkingforhealth.org.uk
Top tips for a healthier heart
- Drink plenty of water.
- Eat a healthy well balanced diet and avoid adding salt to your food.
- Limit your alcohol intake to 2-3 units a day for both men and women.
- Ensure you have at least 2 alcohol free days.
- Ensure that you have your flu jab.
- If you are a smoker – stop or visit quit4good.warwickshire.gov.uk/
- Remember your five a day (both fruit and vegetables).
- Aim for 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise weekly in chunks of 10 minutes or more.
- Try twice weekly muscle strengthening exercise using hand weights or bottles of water that should be heavy enough to make your muscles ache
- Wear comfortable, loose clothing. Keep hydrated and wait an hour after a large meal before exercising
- Warm up and cool down properly allowing heart rate to increase and fall gradually.
- Find something you enjoy.
Additional tips for patients who have experienced heart failure.
- Weigh yourself daily and if you notice an increase in weight by 3-4 1bs (2kg) in 3-4 days contact your Heart Failure Nurse or GP.
- Unless directed otherwise limit your fluid intake to 2 litres a day or 7-8 mugs of fluid.
- Ensure you take your medications as prescribed and never run out of your tablets.
- If you notice any changes in symptoms contact you Heart Failure Nurse or GP.
- Please ensure you bring your Heart Failure Passport to every appointment.
- Ensure you have had your once only pneumonia vaccination.
- If you have experienced heart failure please contact your GP if you experience shortness of breath, swelling of feet and legs, chronic lack of energy, swollen or tender abdomen with loss of appetite, cough with frothy sputum, increased urination at night or confusion and/or impaired memory.