_Can I still exercise if I have an enlarged aorta, an aortic aneurysm, or a chronic aortic dissection?
Exercise is encouraged in people with aortic disease, including aortic aneurysm and chronic aortic dissection. In fact, exercise can be help reverse the processes (eg, atherosclerosis and hypertension) that contribute to aneurysm formation. Low intensity aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, has benefits to the heart, lungs, and blood pressure control, while presenting minimal risk for aortic catastrophe (eg, aortic rupture or aortic dissection) in people with aortic disease.
Some other types of exercise should be avoided. These include exercises that flex and extend your spine, such as situps, because they place excessive pressure in your aorta and abdominal cavity. Furthermore, there is good evidence to suggest that heavy lifting, including weight-training (eg benchpressing, squats, and pullups), may put people with aortic disease at increased risk of aortic rupture or aortic dissection . An aortic disease specialist should advise you on a specific exercise program that is best for you individually.
For more lifestyle recommendations, visit IRAD online.
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