An important part of your recovery following open-heart surgery is
gradually increasing your strength and physical activity. A structured
in-hospital exercise program will guide you through four progressive steps,
from sitting up in bed to walking in the halls with minimal assistance.
4-step program to increase strength
Sit up in bed with
Stand up at bedside with assistance.
in chair for 15 to 30 min. (2 or 3 times a day).
activities while seated
Sit up in bed
Stand up independently.
Walk around room
and to bathroom.
Perform self-care activities in the
Sit and stand up
Walk short distances (50 to 100 feet) in the hall
Perform self-care activities, including
Walk short distances (150 to 200 feet) in the hall with
As your strength increases, your recovery team (doctors, nurses, and
physical therapists) will encourage you to gradually increase the amount of
walking in the halls that you do. The goal is to raise your heart rate and
increase your circulation.
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Richard D. Zorowitz, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.