Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) is a medically supervised program that helps improve the health and well-being of people who have heart problems.
Rehab programs include exercise training, education on heart healthy living, and counseling to reduce stress and help you return to an active life.
Cardiac rehab helps people who have heart problems:
* Recover after a heart attack or heart surgery. * Prevent future hospital stays, heart problems, and death related to heart problems. * Address risk factors that lead to coronary artery disease and other heart problems. These risk factors include high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol (ko-LES-ter-ol), overweight or obesity, diabetes, smoking, lack of physical activity, and depression and other emotional health concerns. * Adopt healthy lifestyle changes. These changes may include a heart healthy eating plan, increased physical activity, and learning how to manage stress. * Improve their health and quality of life.
Each patient will have a program that’s designed to meet his or her needs. The Cardiac Rehabilitation Team
Cardiac rehab involves a long-term commitment from the patient and a team of health care providers.
The cardiac rehab team may include doctors (such as a family doctor, a heart specialist, and a surgeon), nurses, exercise specialists, physical and occupational therapists, dietitians or nutritionists, and psychologists or other mental health specialists. In some cases, a case manager will help track the patient’s care.
Working with the team is an important part of cardiac rehab. The patient should share questions and concerns with the team. This will help the patient reach his or her goals. Outlook
People of all ages can benefit from cardiac rehab. The lifestyle changes made during rehab have few risks. These changes can improve your overall health and prevent future heart problems and even death.
Exercise training as part of cardiac rehab may not be safe for all patients. For example, people who have very high blood pressure or severe heart disease may not be ready to exercise. These patients can still benefit from other parts of the cardiac rehab program.
Ask your doctor whether cardiac rehab can help you prevent a future heart problem and improve your health.