Cardiac rehab is a medically supervised program that is designed to help individuals that had heart surgery, those with chronic heart disease, those who had heart attacks, or those with angioplasty. Cardiac rehab consists of 3 steps which are:
- Exercise prescription: patients are taught exercises that improve the heart’s health.
- Patient education: patients are taught about the many risk factors that can harm heart health like smoking.
- Stress management: Patients are encouraged to identify and tackle their everyday sources of stress.
These steps encourage heart health so that heart function can be restored following a cardiac event and to prevent further damage to the heart.
Cardiac rehab helps by enhancing physical activity, reducing mortality rate, reducing the risk of heart attack and recurrence of heart attacks, and allows those engaged in them to learn how to eat better and lose weight. It also promotes overall health and wellbeing. It is usually given by a team of trained medical professionals that includes cardiologists, nutritionists, clinical nurses, physiotherapists, and pharmacists. This team tailors programs to assist the person undergoing the rehab get back to their normal life. The most important member of a successful cardiac rehab approach, however, is the person getting the rehab. The one getting the rehab must commit themselves and show determination and dedication to the rehab program for it to be successful.
Cardiac rehab programs often require a referral from a physician, preferably one’s cardiologist. Some programs also require potential patients to get a stress test before the rehab can begin. The rehab usually lasts about 3 months and should be done about 3 times per week for it to be most effective. Participants are engaged in low-impact activities, resistance exercises, and strengthening exercises. Also, these programs contain proper warm-ups and cool-downs. They also implement activities and exercises that are good for the heart such as aerobic exercises, which are exercises that involve steady and rhythmic movement of the arms and legs. Examples of aerobic exercise include brisk walking, running, swimming, cycling, and even dancing.
The purpose of being a part of an organized cardiac rehab program is to monitor and restore the health of someone that recently had a cardiac event by a team of professionals. This team will make sure that you are doing the appropriate thing for your stage of recovery. Thus, if you are someone who recently experienced a cardiac event or has heart disease, you should participate in a well-organized cardiac rehab. Participation in a program is one of the best things you can do to regain control of your life and your health.