Which sports are beneficial for angina pectoris? | Angina pectoris

Which sports are beneficial for angina pectoris?

With angina pectoris, too much physical strain often leads to the acute onset of a seizure, so sport should be started very slowly. In addition, the intensity of training should be discussed with the doctor in charge. There are specialized heart sport groups for a safe start into the sport.

In the case of angina pectoris, sports that train endurance are particularly beneficial. A good start to such training is regular walks. During these the body can slowly get used to a physical strain. Later on, jogging, cycling, hiking, walking and swimming are suitable. These endurance sports strengthen the heart and breathing, and also promote muscle building and general physical fitness without suddenly putting the heart under stress.


To diagnose a lack of oxygen in the heart muscle, an exercise ECG is performed on the bicycle ergometer. The patient is gradually exposed to increasing physical stress while the doctor observes the ECG. Typical for an oxygen deficiency are reductions of the ST segment of at least 0.1mV in the limb leads or an increase of the ST segment of at least 0.1mV in leads without Q-wave.

The maximum physical load is adapted to the age of the patient. The meaningfulness of an exercise ECG is the greater, the higher the ergometer load and the heart rate achieved. If the maximum load is not reached, 20% of inconspicuous ECG findings are false negative and a narrowing of the vessels in the heart is overlooked.

However, false positive findings are also possible in up to 50% of cases. These findings are then identified as false by further examinations. The risk of a stress ECG is low due to constant monitoring, but should always be performed under medical supervision due to possible complications with the heart.


The heart is supplied with oxygen via its coronary arteries. The aorta is directly connected to the valve of the left ventricle. The coronary arteries branch off from the aorta directly behind the valve.

The heart reacts to oxygen deficiency more quickly than other organs with pain (see: Heart Pain). This is a very good warning system, as angina pectoris can be life-threatening if untreated. In both unstable and stable angina pectoris there is a narrowing (stenosis) in the coronary vessels. Depending on its severity, this stenosis causes a shortage of blood supply at certain stress levels.


The most common symptoms of angina pectoris are: Women usually have slightly different symptoms. Most people report back or stomach pain. It is not always necessary for all symptoms to occur, or for any symptoms to occur at all (e.g. with so-called silent AP).

Also, diabetics or patients with polyneuropathy usually feel no pain at all or only minor pain, which is then not taken seriously. One of the main causes of angina pectoris is vascular calcification (arteriosclerosis). Stress in any form and physical exertion can also trigger a seizure and are a cause.

Luscious meals can irritate the heart until an attack of angina pectoris occurs. This is due to the proximity of the oesophagus and heart. Cold or general changes in the weather can also act as a trigger.

In cold weather the heart has to beat more to warm the body, for the heart this is stress. Excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking cause arteriosclerosis and are therefore causes, at the same time both can also directly trigger angina pectoris. Smoking thus has a vasoconstrictive effect and thus further prevents the heart from being supplied with oxygen.

Alcohol has the same effect. In summary, it can be said that all activities or circumstances that increase the pulse and blood pressure are stress for the heart and thus can trigger an acute attack of angina pectoris. The same factors can then damage the heart in the long term and thus have a causal effect. The more “stressed” the heart is, the more oxygen it needs and the worse the symptoms become. – Sudden onset of pain in the chest, which is felt as being behind the breastbone (retrosternal), also “tears” in the chest

  • Radiation of the pain into the shoulders (rather the left), back and jaw
  • Heartburn