Exercise Therapy for Children

Look up a term in The Heart Center glossary.

Exercise therapy is the use of a planned program of exercise designed specifically for an individual's needs. It can be a valuable tool to help with one's heart functioning and aerobic fitness. It can take place within the formal setting of a hospital and clinic or can be performed more informally (but just as regularly) at home.

Exercise therapy consists of exercising by walking or running on a treadmill, biking, playing, doing sports activities or lifting weights. Exercise therapy can be done on an individual or group basis.

Exercise can improve heart functioning, lower blood pressure in children with hypertension and improve blood lipid abnormalities. It can also improve insulin resistance / glycogen intolerance in diabetic children.

Exercise is a key component in weight-loss programs and in improving one's fitness level.

  • One should not eat or have any caffeine at least two hours before the exercise session. Make sure that comfortable clothes and shoes are worn to the exercise session.
  • An individual will come to the exercise session and be guided through and be motivated by an experienced exercise technician.

Is exercise therapy painful or uncomfortable?

One may feel tired, out of breath, and there may be some sweating. Once on a regular program of exercise, one may not feel as tired as quickly and will not be as out of breath.

Who performs / prescribes the exercise therapy treatment?

The cardiologist will recommend exercise therapy. Experienced exercise technicians or physical therapists carry out the sessions.

How often are exercise sessions recommended?

The individual and his / her physician determine the frequency of sessions. In general the treatment should be performed three to five times per week for 20-45 minutes each session.

Is exercise therapy risky or dangerous?

No. Complications rarely occur, and if they do, the staff is equipped and trained to handle those rare occasions.

Last Updated 10/2012