How to Safely Exercise When Suffering from Liver Disease

If you have been diagnosed with liver disease, you are most likely feeling scared, nervous, and afraid to participate in any strenuous activity. But surprisingly, research has found that people with liver disease who participate in an exercise program fare better than those who don’t. This article discusses some tips to keep in mind if you have been diagnosed with liver disease and are interested in starting an exercise program.

Talk with Your Doctor

Talking with your doctor before starting a new exercise program is essential for anyone, but is especially important for people who are suffering from liver disease. Not only may your doctor have specific recommendations on how long and difficult the exercise may be, but he may also want you to perform certain exercises and stay away from others. For example, people with liver disease are more often than not encouraged to participate in cardiovascular exercise–things like biking, walking and swimming–and instructed to stay away from vigorous weight lifting activities. Finally, your doctor will want to make sure you are healthy enough to start a new exercise program.

Start Slowly

Once you finally get the okay to start a new exercise program, you must determine how to exercise. While this may seem simply–for example, you want to walk–it is important to create a detailed plan that will outline an exact plan for your exercise routine and list any specific goals. Ideally, people who have liver disease should start out by exercising only for around 10-15 minutes per day–and remember that this can be broken up into smaller sections if you experience high amounts of fatigue. Gradually start increasing the time and intensity of the exercise until you are exercising for between 30 and 60 minutes most days of the week.

Monitor Your Heart Rate

If you are a person who suffers from liver disease, it is important to keep a close eye on your heart rate during exercise, especially when first starting a new routine. While everyone will have a different heart rate during exercise depending on their age and current fitness level, ideally your heart rate should be between 40 and 50 beats above your resting heart rate. To determine your resting heart rate, lay down on a flat surface, and close your eyes for a few minutes. Take two fingers, and gently slide them along your neck approximately one inch below your jawbone. Once you find your pulse, take a count for one minute in order to determine your resting heart rate.

Keep a Detailed Record

Finally, be sure to keep a detailed record of how long you exercised for, how intense the exercise was, what type of exercise was performed, and how you felt before, during and after the exercise. Be sure to share this information with your doctor, as it can be very valuable in your future health care.


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