Myocardial Infarction

Range of Motion offers Exercise Physiologist designed one-on-one exercise sessions for individuals with this condition. Book a complimentary consultation or contact us to find out more.

The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

Based on guidelines provided by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Condition Overview:

Acute Myocardial infarctions are caused by the sudden and complete obstruction of a coronary artery. The process leading to this outcome is as follows:

  • Excess fatty acids and high cholesterol levels.
  • Plaque accumulation in the coronary arteries.
  • Atherosclerosis – narrowing of the coronary arteries.
  • Plaque can fissure, rupture and/or swell, leading to the Infarction.

The initiation of this process can be dramatically reduced with reductions in total and Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and with reductions in inflammation.

Myocardial infarctions are usually characterised by:

  • Severe and prolonged chest pain which may radiate to the arms, neck and upper back. Accompanied by sweating, nausea and/or vomiting.
  • Changes in levels of cardiac enzymes.
  • Changes in heart electrical conductivity due to damage/death of cardiac muscle cells.

Short Term Response to Exercise:

Clients who have suffered a previous myocardial infarction may experience the following exercise effects during a session:

  • Reductions in aerobic capacity due to diminished cardiac output.
  • Decreased systolic blood pressure response to exercise.
  • Changes in heart electrical conductivity.
  • Increased predisposition towards angina symptoms.
  • Increased predisposition towards threatening exercise induced ventricular arrhythmias.

Long Term Response to Exercise:

Clients who have suffered a previous myocardial infarction may experience the following long term exercise effects:

  • Increased oxygen consumption.
  • Increase in the sensitivity of the ventilatory response to exercise.
  • Reductions in angina symptoms due to reductions in resting heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen demand.
  • Increased variability of heart rate.
  • Favourable changes in body composition, weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride levels and low density lipoproteins.
  • 20-25% reduction in total and cardiovascular related mortality.

Condition Management:

The role of exercise lies in its ability to slow, halt or reverse the injurious effects of suffering an infarction. The modification of risk factors such as smoking, lipid levels and hypertension and the use of drug therapy are all effective treatment options.

Treatment Methodologies:

Range of Motion designs specific exercise programs unique to the individual based on The Range of Motion Model of Health. Modifications to this basic framework are made based on the specific recommendations outlined below.

Aerobic:

  • 90-102 beats per minute.
  • 11-13/20 rate of perceived exertion.
  • 20 minutes per session.
  • Three days per week.

Resistance:

  • 50-70% of one repetition max.
  • Single set of <10 repetitions.
  • Three days per week.

Flexibility:

  • Not to discomfort.
  • 20 seconds per stretch.
  • Three days per week.

Visit The Heart Foundation website.

Book a complimentary consultation or contact us to find out more.

Franklin, B. A., (2003). Myocardial Infarction. In: Durstine, J. L., Moore, G. E. (2003), ACSM’s Exercise Management for Persons with Chronic Diseases and Disabilities 2nd Ed. (pp 24-31) American College of Sports Medicine, Human Kinetics.