London: Contrary to doctor's advice, a study has claimed that patients should start exercising just a week after suffering from a heart attack.

Mark Haykowsky and Alex Clark at the University of Alberta have found in a study that early and prolonged exercise is the key to recover from operation.

In fact, the researchers found stable patients, who have suffered a cardiac arrest, can improve their heart function with starting a light exercise just one week after the heart attack.

“While it’s been shown that exercise has a favorable effect on heart function, it’s also important to dispel the idea that what the heart needs is rest,” said Dr Haykowsky.

 “For every week that a patient delayed his or her exercise treatment, he or she would have to train for the equivalent of one month longer to get similar benefits,” said Dr Clark.

The researchers said that though the concerns were understandable, the study shows no evidence that beginning an exercise program earlier than the typical waiting period was harmful.

“In the 70’s, healthcare professionals were telling patients not to move for three months after a heart attack. Our findings suggest that stable patients need not wait a month to start exercising in a cardiac rehabilitation setting,” said Dr Clark.

“Exercise is a wonder drug that hasn’t been bottled,” Dr Haykowsky added.