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Exercise after heart surgery.
If you still get short of breath with minor exercise it means either you have not yet fully recovered or you are de-conditioned. In the first case you might have a residual pleural effusion and atelectasis preventing your lungs to ventilate properly, not uncommon after heart surgery. A chest X ray should do the trick to (dis)prove the its presence.
If your heart and lungs are now functioning normally as expected after a successful aortic valve replacement, gradually progressive exercising is indeed appropriate, but I would recommend aerobic exercise rather than weight lifting, which doesn't do much except create muscle mass and will not make you healthier cardaic-wise.
In either case you need to be cleared by your doctors. As far as your breast bone is concerned, it takes indeed about 6 weeks minimum. Once fully healed, there should be no restrictions. Start sllowly!
Hope this helps,
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