After you have had heart surgery, a heart attack, or other heart issues, cardiac rehabilitation plays a critical role in helping your regain your health and get back to your life. Cardiac rehab is a program of exercise, nutritional counseling, emotional and physical support, and lifestyle education.
The main goal of cardiac rehab is to help you restore your strength, improve your medical condition, and help reduce your risk of other heart problems.
Cardiac rehabilitation is often divided into four phases.
The first phase of cardiac rehab usually begins while you are still in the hospital. Our physicians, nurses, and rehab staff will evaluate your physical abilities and medical condition. They will also assess your risk factors for future heart issues, such as heart attack, high blood pressure, and stroke.
You can expect to be examined by a number of medical professionals, allowing them to create an individualized plan for your rehabilitation. They will test your strength and your activity levels as they determine a safe and effective course of action for you.
The second phase of cardiac rehab is a specific exercise therapy plan that is provided on an outpatient basis. This phase usually lasts for 12 weeks.
During this time, you will work with a physical therapist who will teach you exercises that help you regain strength and flexibility. You will also work with a nutritionist and learn about healthy food choices that reduce your intake of fat, cholesterol, and sodium. You will learn about other necessary lifestyle changes, such as the need to quit smoking or refrain from other unhealthy habits. Your medical team will also educate you about the medications you still need.
The third phase of cardiac rehab also lasts for about 12 weeks. During this time, you will begin a cardiovascular fitness routine in an outpatient setting.
You can expect less supervision that during phase two, but your exercise level will be higher as you work to strengthen your cardiovascular system. If you become discouraged, you will receive advice and support to help you stay on track.
The fourth phase of cardiac rehab is primarily geared toward patients who have not had heart surgery or a heart attack but still need cardio attention. You may benefit from this phase if you are at high risk for heart disease.
You can expect to receive advice about lifestyle changes and nutritional choices. You’ll also be given a fitness plan that has been created especially for you. Though you will receive minimal supervision, our team will be there to answer any questions you have and offer support. Our goal is to help your restore your heart health and lead an active and productive life.
Throughout all four phases of cardiac rehabilitation, you can count on us to offer guidance and to understand the many ups and downs you may experience. Recovering from a heart issue is not something that happens overnight. We will provide you with compassionate care and help you regain your physical and emotional strength.