Dr. Ven Nethala, MD, FACC
Cardiac Rehab is a professionally supervised, customized program of exercise, education, and counseling designed to help one recover from a heart-related illness or disease.
Cardiac Rehab aims to help one regain strength, prevent a condition from worsening and reduce the risk of future heart problems.
Cardiac Rehab is often divided into phases that involve monitored exercise, nutritional counseling, emotional support, and support and education about lifestyle changes to reduce your risks of heart problems. The goals of cardiac Rehab are to help you regain strength, prevent your condition from worsening and reduce your risk of future heart problems.
The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology recommend cardiac Rehab programs.
Why Do You Need Cardiac Rehab?
Cardiac Rehab is an option for people of all ages and with many forms of heart disease. In particular, you may benefit from cardiac Rehab if your medical history includes the following:
Coronary artery disease
Peripheral arterial disease
Chest pain (angina)
Certain congenital heart diseases
Coronary artery bypass surgery
Angioplasty and stents
Heart valve replacements
Don't let older age hold you back from joining a Cardiac Rehab program. Even if you're older than 65, you're likely to benefit from cardiac Rehab.
Cardiac Rehab is not appropriate for everyone who has heart disease. Your healthcare team will evaluate your health to ensure you are ready to start a Cardiac Rehab program.
Rarely do some people suffer injuries, such as strained muscles, sprains, or broken bones, while exercising as a part of Cardiac Rehab. Your healthcare team will carefully monitor you while you exercise to lower this risk and teach you how to avoid injuries when exercising on your own.
Preparation for Cardiac Rehab
If you have had a heart attack, had heart surgery, or another heart condition, ask your doctor about joining a Cardiac Rehab program such as the one at Hardin Medical Center. Insurance and Medicare often cover the costs of cardiac Rehab.
What to expect at Cardiac Rehab
During Cardiac Rehab
Cardiac Rehab often begins while you're still in the hospital and continues with monitored programs in an outpatient setting until home-based maintenance programs can be safely followed.
The first stages of most Cardiac Rehab programs last about three to six months. You may work with cardiologists, nurse educators, dietitians, exercise Rehab specialists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists during that time.
Cardiac Rehab has four main parts:
Medical evaluation. Initial and ongoing assessment helps your healthcare team check your physical abilities, medical limitations, and other conditions and track your progress over time. Your healthcare team looks at your heart disease, stroke, or high blood pressure risk factors. Careful assessment helps your team tailor a cardiac Rehab program to your situation, ensuring it's safe and effective.
Physical activity. Cardiac Rehab improves your cardiovascular fitness through walking, cycling, rowing, jogging, and other endurance activities. You may also do strength training (lifting weights, for example) to increase your muscular fitness.
Don't worry if you've never exercised before. Your cardiac Rehab team will make sure the program moves at a comfortable pace and is safe for you, but in general, you should exercise three to five times a week. You'll be taught proper exercise techniques, such as warming up and stretching.
Lifestyle education. Guidance about diet and nutrition helps you shed excess weight and learn to make healthier food choices to reduce fat, sodium, and cholesterol intake. You receive support and education on making lifestyle changes and breaking unhealthy habits like smoking. You also learn how to manage pain or fatigue you may have. Cardiac Rehab also gives you ample opportunity to ask questions about such issues as sexual activity. Finally, you must closely follow your doctor's advice on medications.
Support. Adjusting to a serious health problem often takes time. You may feel depressed or anxious, lose touch with your social support system, or have to stop working for several weeks. If you get depressed, don't ignore it because depression can make your cardiac rehab program more complex and impact your relationships and other areas of your life and health. Counseling will help you learn healthy ways to cope with depression and different feelings, and your doctor may also suggest medications such as antidepressants. Vocational or occupational therapy will teach you new skills to help you return to work.
Although starting a cardiac Rehab program may be challenging when you're not feeling well, you'll benefit in the long run. Cardiac Rehab can guide you through fear and anxiety as you return to an active lifestyle, with more motivation and energy to do the things you enjoy.
Cardiac Rehab helps you rebuild your life, both physically and emotionally. As you get stronger and learn how to manage your condition, you'll likely return to a routine, along with your new diet and exercise habits. It's important to know that your chances of having a successful cardiac rehab program rest primarily with you; the more dedicated you are to following your program's recommendations, the better you'll do.
After Cardiac Rehab
After your initial cardiac Rehab program ends, you'll need to continue the diet and exercise habits you learn during cardiac Rehab for the rest of your life to maintain its heart health benefits.
Cardiac Rehab is a long-term maintenance program — something to follow for the rest of your life. After about 12 weeks, you probably will have developed your exercise routine at home or a local gym. You may also continue to exercise at a cardiac rehab center. You may remain under medical supervision, particularly if you have health concerns. Education about nutrition, lifestyle, and weight loss may continue, as well as counseling. For best success, ensure your exercise and lifestyle practices become lifelong habits.
Over the long term, you gain strength, learn heart-healthy behaviors, improve your diet, cut bad habits like smoking, and learn how to cope with heart disease. You'll also decrease your risk of coronary artery disease and other heart conditions.
One of the most valuable benefits of cardiac Rehab is often an improvement in your overall quality of life. If you stick with your cardiac rehab program, you're likely to come out of your cardiac Rehab program feeling better than before.
BENEFITS OF CARDIAC REHAB PROGRAM
What are the benefits of attending a supervised cardiac Rehab program?
Regular physical activity helps your heart and the rest of your body get stronger and work better. Physical activity improves your energy level and lifts your spirits. It also reduces your chances of future heart problems, including heart attacks.
Counseling and education can help you quit smoking, eat right, lose weight, and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Counseling may also help you learn to manage stress and feel better about your health.
You have the advice and close supervision of healthcare professionals to help you improve your health and lower your risk of future problems. These professionals can also communicate with your primary care doctor or cardiologist.
What it means to be an Accredited Chest Pain Center?
An Accredited Chest Pain Center means that a hospital has dedicated physicians in interventional cardiology and emergency medicine, trained in the rapid response and treatment of heart attack. This treatment-focused method of health care has been proven to reduce damage to the heart muscle.
Chest Pain Center Accredited hospitals have achieved a higher level of expertise when dealing with patients who arrive with symptoms of a heart attack. Accreditation improves the clinical processes for the early assessment, diagnosis, and treatment within facilities.
Our process improvement methodology leads to...
More efficient and effective evaluation
Rapid treatment of patients with chest pain and other heart attack symptoms
Better-educated healthcare professionals and a more well-informed community
Chest Pain Center Accreditation helps:
Reduce variations of care
Lower length of stay (LOS)
Sustain consistent process improvement
Why is this important to you? Better outcomes.
Early intervention and attention reduce strain on the heart and create better outcomes. In addition to helping us provide quality care to patients with heart issues, this pinpoint focus also helps prevent unnecessary admissions if it’s not clear if a person is experiencing a coronary event.