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Energy Fatigue Management After Heart Surgery

Initially after your surgery, you may find some tasks quite tiring. The following are different techniques that we can do to reduce the amount or workload on our heart and our bodies.

  • Do not be overwhelmed – Remember that the most important thing is to keep active within your individual capacity.
  • Use slow, steady, flowing movements – This uses less energy than rapid and jerky movements in activities such as dusting, sweeping, raking.
  • Use your arms and hands as near to waist level as possible – Using your arms in any activity causes an increase in energy consumption. The higher the arms are used above the waist, the greater is energy consumption. Correct work/bench height is very important, generally at waist height or just below.
  • Sit instead of standing during activities when possible – Standing uses more energy than sitting. Sit for as many activities as possible e.g., showering, laundry, folding laundry, preparing meals, bench – work.
  • Take frequent short rests rather than fewer long rests – Frequent short rests are more beneficial than long rests. Rest before you become exhausted.
  • Avoid Extremes in Temperature – Don’t try to do as much on hot, humid days or in cold windy weather as you would normally do on more pleasant days
  • Avoid Exercises and Other Activities for approximately 1 hour after a meal – After a meal, blood is shunted away from the muscles to the stomach, so any activity at this stage will cause a higher heart rate and oxygen demand.
  • Pace Yourself – A slow and steady rate of work with short rest periods will get the job done without exhausting you. If you double your work speed, you use two to three times the energy.
  • If you are tired, no matter what you are doing, STOP and REST. Don’t push yourself to sweep the rest of the house or to mow the rest of the lawn. Remember, if you are tired halfway through a task you should STOP immediately.