Activity and exercise

In general, it’s best for people with heart failure to stay as active as possible, as moderate exercise can help improve symptoms, reduce stress and boost energy levels.

Regular exercise sufficient to provoke mild or moderate breathlessness is recommended, and shouldn’t be feared. If your partner or relative is afraid of exercising, or doesn’t know how much exercise is advisable, talk to their doctor or nurse.

Click here for more ideas on appropriate exercise for your partner or relative. It’s also important for your partner or relative to know when to try to conserve energy, so they can do the things they enjoy. Below are some tips on how they can do this:

  • Sit down while preparing food, making it an easier task.
  • Make daily trips to the shops to buy a few things rather than going once a week and having to carry very heavy bags.
  • If your partner or relative finds washing and dressing very tiring, get them to take a 20-minute break after they have washed before getting dressed.

Click here to find out about more ways of conserving energy.

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ESC Guidelines for Heart Failure

What patients need to know

This guide for patients from the European Society of Cardiology aims to provide an overview of the latest evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure.

In particular, it should help patients to understand the:

  • main types of heart failure
  • medicines used to treat heart failure
  • devices that may be appropriate
  • importance of rehabilitation
  • management by a multidisciplinary team
  • importance of self-care in managing your own condition

Learn more


A series of 9 simple, captivating animations explaining heart failure and its treatment.

These narrated animations explain how a healthy heart works, what happens to it in heart failure and how various treatments work to improve your health.


In this section you can watch, listen or read interviews with other people with heart failure and their caregivers.


and share your own views and experiences with other patients, families and caregivers. is a European Society of Cardiology website

The website was developed under the direction of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The ESC is a world leader in the discovery and dissemination of best practices in cardiovascular medicine. Our members and decision-makers are healthcare professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to represent professionals in the field of cardiology in Europe and beyond.

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