What Is Cardiac Rehabilitation?
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
- Prevent future hospital stays, heart problems,
and death related to heart problems.
- Address risk factors that lead to
artery disease and other heart problems. These risk factors include
blood cholesterol (ko-LES-ter-ol),
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 thats
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 patients 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.
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
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.