Would using an elliptical be considered light exercise?

My cardiologist told me I can do light exercise. I'm trying to heal from viral cardiomyopathy. I'm just wondering what exactly consists of light exercise. I would like to lose some weight. Wondering if doing cardio on an elliptical would be considred light or using a stationary bike?

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I think they could both be light exercise, depending on how fast you go and how much tension you use.

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It depends on what kind of shape you are in. To a runner, the elliptical could be quite light, but to someone recovering from major heart problems it could be way too much. One way to gauge this is to watch your heart rate. Get a target heart rate from your doctor. You probably don't want to max this out. For example, the target given for aerobic exercise in healthy people is often 80% of your calculated max heart rate. One formula for that is 210 minus your age. So if you are 30 years old, 210-30 = 180. Then 80% of 180 is 144. Your doctor may only want you to aim for 60% of max, which for the example above would be 108. That sounds like around the target I was given initially after my heart attack.

For me, it's really hard to keep my heart rate down on elliptical. When I lower the resistance I tend to go a lot faster, so it's easy for me to hit 150's and up. Stationary bike is a lot easier to control your effort and therefore your heart rate. Walking on a treadmill is also a good thing to try. You can increase speed and incline to get the heart rate you are aiming for. I actually hate exercising indoors on machines so I walk outside.

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You can really make anything "light exercise". I would think that the best thing for your at this point is some good ole fashioned walking.

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Have you been referred to Cardiac Rehab? They can help you set goals, targets and confidence. I can't do elliptical, too hard for me. I just walk.

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Well, I agree with cajngrl if you have not been exercising regularly lately then walking would be best. I recall in cardiac rehab, a guy first using an elliptical and it was a big jump from walking to moving arms that much and adjusting to the feel of the machine. So it does depend on what you are used to. Slowly working up is always best concerning our heart health. At rehab for example, everyone started on treadmill with no incline and slowly added a slope, then once that was ok, stationary bike... Then elliptical. Good luck!!! Be sure to check with your doc!! :)

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Recovering from stent, and doctor told me to start with walking to recondition myself. Fortunately for me he gave me a specific plan of exercise to follow for the next four weeks. Also, he said not to be concerned about heart rate, because I am taking medications that keep the heart rate low, therefore I cannot exercise hard enough to raise it to levels usually quoted for my age.

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#1. Check with your cardiologist.
#2. Start slowly; take baby steps.
#3. Be patient.
#4. Keep at it.

Personally, from a 64-year old gal in Cardiac Rehab for the last FIVE years and in pretty good shape after 22 surgeries: the elliptical kicks my butt. I manage 20 minutes on the treadmill (14% angle @ 3.2 speed) and 6 minutes on Nu-Step (with my watts running 120-130). I left weights (9# free weights and 45# on a machine) and walk on the beach up to 5 miles 4-5 times a week.

Put me on the elliptical for 4 minutes at 3 dots (@ 366K) and I'm DONE IN.

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What my Doctor told me is to just walk. It's the best thing right now. I had CABG x7 two months ago and I am up to walking 30 minutes a day 5 days a week to start. I will work my way up to 45 minutes a day. Also I climb stairs a couple times a day. About 20 steps up then back down. Slowly of course. Take it one day at a time. It really takes a long time to heal. You don't want to undo everything the doctors did.

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