If you are an adult with congenital heart disease, your doctor will evaluate whether you can safely participate in certain physical activities based on your individual health and form of heart disease. Some adults with congenital heart disease will not have any physical restrictions, while other patients with complex or severe congenital heart disease will need to adhere to recommended physical limitations to protect their heart health. The goal is always to allow you to lead the most active and productive life possible.
When you were a child and adolescent, parents, caregivers and medical professionals may have shielded you from exercise out of concern for your health. Sometimes this may have been done unintentionally, out of concern. And, in some situations, activity and exercise guidelines may have changed since you were a child. Regardless of whether you were very active as a child or engaged only in limited physical activity, as an adult you should revisit the subject with your current treating physician. He or she will consider your current health and previous health history in the context of what is now known about your form of congenital heart disease. Everyone’s goal is for people born with heart disease to lead the most active lives possible.
Work with your physician to find an exercise plan that is right for you. Be sure to talk with your physician about the potential risks and benefits of exercise.
Most adults with mild or corrected congenital heart disease will not have restrictions on the number of hours per day or week that they can work. However, your doctor may recommend some limits for certain strenuous physical activities or demands. Additionally, your treating physician can advise you if any of your medications will affect your job choices. Your physician is an important resource to turn to as you look at job choices.
For more on physical activity recommendations and congenital heart disease, click here.
Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Physical Limitations
- Do I have any physical activity restrictions?
- What kind of job can I have? Are there jobs I should avoid?
- When will we re-evaluate my physical activity restrictions?