Cardiac Rehab: Your Next Step To Recovery

August 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

What is Cardiac Rehabilitation (rehab)?

Cardiac rehab helps heart patients get well sooner and get back to a full, active lifestyle.  Rehab has two parts:

  1. Exercise training helps you safely, strengthen your muscles and get your energy back.
  2. Education helps you understand the health condition of your condition and teaches you ways to change unhealthy habits to new, healthier habits.

Who can Benefit from Cardiac Rehab?

Anyone who has or have had:

  • heart disease
  • heart failure
  • a
  • heart surgery
  • heart angioplasty
  • a heart transplant

What are the Benefits of Cardiac Rehab?

Cardiac rehab can make a difference.  It is a safe, smart way to help you:

  • Feel better faster
  • Get stronger
  • Decrease symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath
  • Cut down on stress
  • Lower your risks for future heart problems and related hospital admissions
  • Live longer

What are the Goals of Cardiac Rehab?

Cardiac rehab can help you reach many goals.  Talk with your doctor or nurse and find out which of these goals are right for you:

  • Taking medicines, as needed
  • High blood pressure control
  • Weight management
  • Cholesterol control
  • Eating healthy
  • Diabetes control
  • Weight training
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Quitting smoking
  • Stress management

Who is on the Cardiac Rehab Team?

Your cardiac rehab team may be made up of many health care providers including:

  • Doctors (such as family doctor, heart doctor (cardiologist) and/or your surgeon)
  • Nurses
  • Dietitians
  • Exercise specialists
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physical therapists
  • Psychologists or behavior therapists

How can the Cardiac Rehab Team Help?

Only you can change your health habits to those that are necessary for a healthier life. But your cardiac rehab team can make these changes easier for you.  They can help you:

  • Learn about your heart condition
  • Learn what you can do to help your heart
  • Know the right questions to ask
  • Know if you have any new problems
  • Build confidence in what you can do
  • Follow your treatment plan
  • Move safely through your exercise program

No matter how hard it seems, cardiac rehab will have benefits that last a lifetime. Many insurance companies pay for some or all of the cost of cardiac rehab.

Tags: attack, exercise, heart attack, Live, cardiac rehabilitation

Cardiac Rehabilitation: Let's Exercise

August 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Education

Before you your body needs time to get blood to the parts of your body that you are going to exercise. If you start exercising before your body is ready, you may hurt yourself. So, before you begin to exercise:

  • Warm up the muscles you will be using. For example, if you plan on walking, walk slowly for 5 minutes before you really get into walking briskly. If bike riding is what you want to do, go slowly for 5 minutes before you go faster.
  • Stretch your muscles. After the blood has moved into your muscles, you need to stretch them. This is to help prevent painful muscle pulls, cramps and soreness during and/or after exercising. Never stretch cold muscles. Also, remember to breathe while exercising.

Get Moving

Your heart needs to be strong to pump well. You can make your heart stronger with only 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercises 3-6 days a week.

Aerobic exercises are ones in which you move your arms and legs the whole time you do them. Walking, jogging, dancing and cycling are aerobic. After only a few months of regular exercise:

  • Your hear can pump more blood and oxygen to your lungs and through your body
  • You will likely have more energy
  • You may sleep better and feel less stress
  • You may find your blood pressure has gone down (your blood glucose too)
  • You can lose body fat and help tone up your muscles
  • Your good cholesterol (HDL) level may go up

After You Exercise

Before you stop exercising, slow your pace and cool down just like you warmed up. This lets your body gently return blood from your muscles to other places. Then stretch your muscles again. This helps prevent soreness later.

Tags: cold muscles, cardiac rehabilitation, exercise, Rehabilitation, get fit

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