Heart to Hartman

Health Guide for Congenital Heart Disease

How You Can Help Your Child or Yourself Live a Healthy Life with a Heart Defect

Want your child to grow up healthy and happy? Of course, you do! Otherwise, you would not have invested so many sleepless nights in the hospital trying to secure a healthy future for him/her.

What’s next now that they are out of the hospital?

Now that your child is out of the hospital and in proper follow-up care, how can you best help? Let them be kids! Let them play and get sweaty and dirty. Let them be with other kids playing two hand touch in the yard or riding bikes all over the place. Kids who are active tend to grow up and remain active. After my first surgery when I was 4, my father bought me a bike. He actually brought it to the hospital! As soon I was released, I started to train on it. ( I needed training wheels for awhile) I learned to roller skate, I joined a competitive swim team. In 5th grade, I started playing basket ball. When I grew up, I became an athletic trainer, exercise physiologist, a personal trainer and group exercise instructor. When I finally had to have more surgery, both my cardiologist and my surgeon independent of each other and unsolicited told me, “There is no doubt your level of activity has kept you healthy and doing so well for this long.”

Want more information about how exercise can help your child/ adolescent or you?

Exercise has so many benefits specifically for the child/ adolescent, or adult with CHD. So the lesson is, once your doctor has cleared your child, let them be! Don’t just take my advice. Check out this video clip of Dr. Rachael Cordina and me. Dr Cordina is an adult congenital cardiologist practicing at Prince Albert Hospital in Sydney Australia. She and I were asked to collaborate on a presentation about exercise in the CHD patient for the Cardiovascular Neurocognitive Outcomes Collaborative virtual conference. In this section of our presentation, she explains the current research on all the benefits activity and exercise have for people with CHD.

Dr. Rachael Cordina explains the benefits of exercise for the CHD patient.

I hope you find this information helpful. Share your experiences with exercise in the comments below

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Heart to Hartman

Health Guide for Congenital Heart Disease


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