Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)


Heart Disease – also known as coronary heart disease (CHD), occurs when plaque (made of cholesterol, fatty molecules, and minerals) develops in the arteries and in the blood vessels that lead to your heart. This can lead to having chest pains, shortness of breath and pain/numbness in the leg or arms. 

Regular physical activity reduces your risk of ever developing CHD. If you already have CHD, it can help slow the progression of the condition and prevent you from experiencing future heart events. During physical activity the heart pumps more blood through the body and continue working at optimal efficiency with little strain. This will help the heart to stay healthy longer. Regular physical activity also helps to keep arteries and other blood vessels flexible, ensuring good blood flow and normal blood pressure. 

Physical Activity & Heart Disease

Being active is extremely good for our health and wellbeing, and is promoted by the British Heart Foundation.

Physical activity is a safe and effective treatment for patients with CHD. Indeed, regular physical activity appears to be similarly effective as many drug interventions.

For people who have CHD, regular physical activity helps the heart work better and may reduce the risk of a second heart attack in people have already had a heart attack. It does this by:

  • Prevents blood vessels from narrowing further
  • Prevents blood clotting
  • Helps deliver blood to the heart
  • Helps maintain a normal heart rhythm

Other benefits from physical activity for people with CHD include:

  • Improved physical function
  • Improved psychological wellbeing
  • Beneficial changes in blood pressure, HDL cholesterol and insulin sensitivity
  • Reduced levels of C-reactive protein in your body. High levels of this protein are a sign of vascular inflammation and may suggest an increased risk for future cardiovascular events
  • Helps manage body weight
  • Increased energy and improved mood
  • Helps reduce stress and anxiety, as well as helping you relax
  • Improved sleep
  • May help you quit smoking

There are some contradictions to exercise, for example if your condition is clinically unstable then you should wait until your clinical condition has stabilised before exercising. If you are concerned about becoming physically active, please consult your doctor.

If you were admitted to hospital following a cardiac event (e.g., heart attack) or if you had certain surgical procedures for your heart, you should have been offered cardiac rehabilitation on release from hospital. Physical activity is the cornerstone of cardiac rehabilitation.

How do we Help Heart Disease?

KiActiv® Health is a personalised and guided digital behaviour change therapy that empowers people to optimise everyday physical activity in the context of their condition. If you have heart disease, you may feel like you’re locked inside a vicious cycle of having a condition that could be helped by physical activity, but at the same time a fear of exercise is keeping you sedentary.

By avoiding activity, you use your muscles less and they become weaker. Your heart is a muscle, so inactivity weakens your heart, as well as increasing your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots, all of which increases your risk of suffering another cardiac event. We call this the vicious cycle of inactivity.

However, the opposite is also true. When you chose to be active, and it is never too late to start, your heart will become stronger. As you get fitter, your everyday tasks and other activities will become easier, so you will be able to move more for the same level of effort. We call this the positive cycle of physical activity.

Optimising the benefits of physical activity is about understanding that every move we make matters, and our approach expands the therapy window from just a few hours of exercise per week, to include all 112 waking hours, helping people to discover the opportunities to move more within the context of their health, capacity and environment.

We utilise a personalised, Mentor-guided digital service which empowers individuals to make sustainable changes to their lifestyle. Imparting an understanding that physical activity is more than just exercise and sport, and that every move matter can allow anyone to make simple yet effective changes that result in a variety of health benefits. As such, KiActiv® Health provides an accessible option for everyone.

Client Quotes

“I feel more energetic, and l feel more enthusiasm for doing household chores. I also sleep better, and l really enjoy the exercise routine which I have developed during the programme. Thank you Steff you have been a fantastic mentor all good wishes.”88, Female, CVD

“It has made me understand further how important physical activity is for my physical and mental health.”

“I am very grateful that I was given the opportunity to take part in the KiActiv programme and will continue to challenge myself to keep motivated and more active in future.”80, Female, Hypertension & CVD

“It has encouraged me to be more ambitious with my exercise and push myself further.”79, Male, CVD & High Cholesterol 

“The KiActiv programme has definitely made me be more aware of how active I am throughout the day and has helped to motivate me.”61, Female, Hypertension, CVD & Pre-Diabetic

“I feel more positive about small achievements (leading to changes) and this programme helped me to realise this.”44, Female, CVD & Asthma