As the days get shorter and the nights become colder, you might find it harder to maintain an active lifestyle during the winter. For LVAD patients especially, staying active is important for your overall health. Physical fitness through the winter months can help keep your mental and physical health at its best. Here are some helpful tips to get out and about even when warmer activities aren’t an option.
Indoor Workouts: You don’t need to be outside to stay active. There are many indoor activities that can help you maintain your physical fitness. These include yoga, dance classes, or even walking laps around a shopping mall. Always remember to keep your LVAD well protected during these sessions, and to wash away any dirt or sweat after you’re done.
Layer Up: If you do decide to exercise outside, remember to bundle up. Going for a hike, sledding and other wintertime activities are great, just make sure to keep your site protected and dry. Dress in layers to stay warm and make sure your LVAD is well protected from the cold.
Stay Hydrated: Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you don’t need to drink water. Staying hydrated is vital when you are being active, especially on dry winter days.
Work Out with Friends: Exercising with others can be more fun, and you can also look out for each other. Community centers often offer workout classes year round, and this is a great way to stay active with a social element. Join a local exercise group or consider starting one with your friends.
Consult with Your Care Team: Discuss your exercise plans with your care team before starting a new routine. They can provide suggestions tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. They are there to ensure your active lifestyle aligns safely with your LVAD care.
For many patients, it’s important to adapt and find new ways to enjoy the activities you love, while caring for your device and your health. If you have questions about returning to an active lifestyle, consult your care team on the do’s and dont’s of your particular care plan.