If you have a heart attack or other heart problem, cardiac rehab is vital for your recovery. In addition, cardiac rehab can help prevent another heart attack (perhaps a more serious one) and help you build healthy habits for your heart.
What is cardiac rehab?
Cardiac rehabilitation is a comprehensive therapy that combines education on heart health, prescribed exercise training, diet and nutrition counseling, cardiac risk factor modification, and psychosocial support. It helps you recover, build confidence, and get stronger after medical treatment or surgery for a heart condition or problem.
Doctors, nurses, clinical exercise physiologists, counselors, dietitians, and other healthcare providers offer expert guidance throughout your cardiac rehab program, which usually takes at least three months. Cardiac rehab can help you no matter what your age, gender, or if your heart problem is little or significant.
Who needs cardiac rehab?
Cardiac rehab is essential for some kinds of heart problems, such as:
Coronary artery bypass surgery
Recent heart attack
Heart valve repair or replacement
Current stable angina
Coronary angioplasty or coronary stent
A heart or heart-lung transplant
Stable chronic heart failure
Medicare Part B also covers intensive cardiac rehab programs, which are more intense or rigorous than the standard cardiac rehab programs. Medicare covers them in a doctor’s office or as an outpatient.
The cardiac rehab process
The cardiac rehab center staff will conduct a physical exam and document your medical history to create an individual program. You may also undergo basic testing, including an electrocardiogram (EKG), cardiac imaging, blood sugar, cholesterol tests, and exercise stress tests.
Based on the information obtained, they will work with a physician to assess the risk factors for cardiovascular disease and work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan.
During cardiac rehab, staff will supervise the exercise as you start slowly according to your prescribed training zones. The team will help you gradually progress by increasing your exercise intensity or duration according to your level and medical history. At the same time, they check your heart rate and blood pressure regularly to make sure you’re safe while exercising.
Besides physical activity, six things may be included in the cardiac rehabilitation program:
Stress management techniques
Get a healthy weight
Stopping the use of tobacco products or other substances
Taking and managing your medicines
Controlling your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels to prevent or manage diabetes
After completing your last cardiac rehab session, the staff may ask you to perform another exercise stress test to reassess exercise safety, quantify your improvement, and update your individualized exercise training recommendations. Even after you finish your cardiac rehab, everything you learn can help you for the rest of your life.
At Signature Health Services, we have an extraordinary team of skilled nurses and licensed therapists that can conduct our patients through their rehabilitation programs. So please, call us about any concerns regarding cardiac rehab or any other question you may have, and we can work with your doctor to assist you.
Call Signature 24/7 at 800-277-8291 for excellence in skilled and compassionate home health care.