Because health benefits will be evident from moderate physical activity, health benefits of a physically active lifestyle are within reach of nearly all patients with CHD.
The American Heart Association recommends the importance of physical activity for those with congenital heart defects (CHD) to help keep you healthy and growing strong. Talk to your cardiologist about what is right for you. Ask many questions so you can understand clearly if there are any limits to the amount or types of activity you should do.
Good nutritional habits can be hard to follow for anyone, but it is especially important to think about nutrition when you are a teen with CHD. Proper nutrition means the right amounts and types of foods. If you are growing normally, you do not need to do anything more than enjoy a variety of healthy meals and snacks.
Just like any teen, it is okay to snack or have foods you enjoy, but there are some guidelines you should keep in mind to help protect your heart.
Remember – whatever questions you have about your diet or nutrition, talk to your health care provider, a dietitian, or nutritionist. It’s not always easy to find the right balance and your care team can help.
The right amount and level of intensity for exercise should be discussed with your cardiologist to determine what is right for you before starting any exercise or sport activity. However, it is an important part of keeping healthy.
No matter what situation applies to you, ask your doctor for a note that describes any limits to physical activities so that you have it to provide to your school, coach, or other groups that may require it.
Once you know what level and type of activity is right for you, how to take care of yourself is pretty similar for any teen:
Teens with CHD should follow good nutritional habits just as any other teen! In general, here are some tips:
Lifestyle Choices & Risky Behavior