Cardiac Rehab: What It Is And What You Need To know
- Posted on: Apr 15 2017
The experience of a cardiac event is not one that we think of and say “Boy! I hope I get to do that!” No. As much as possible, most people would love to avoid any unpleasant symptoms or conditions affecting their heart. And yet, heart disease and other conditions continue to happen. When they do, one of the recommendations that may be made, as a part of an ongoing wellness protocol, is cardiac rehab.
Rehab for the Heart
Rehab? For the heart? Yes. Rehab isn’t just a matter of restoring physical mobility after an accident, nor is it something that revolves only around over-drinking or drug-use. Cardiac rehab is, in fact, a highly-beneficial aspect of managing conditions like heart disease. Think of it as having your wellness coach, a cheerleader in your corner as you implement habits that prioritize healthy living.
What it is
As the name suggests, cardiac rehab is a supervised program that educates patients about the proper use of heart medications (though your doctor is your best ally when it comes to that), how to eat healthily, and how to exercise. In fact, many programs supervise that exercise, which makes them advantageous for patients who feel unsettled by the prospect of physical activity after a cardiac event.
The whole idea behind cardiac rehab is that the program meet patients’ needs, fits their lifestyle, and enables them to strengthen their heart so that they may improve general wellness. When this is accomplished, the risk of future events or problems is decreased, and that is good news.
Aspects of cardiac rehab include:
- How to exercise safely and regularly.
- Adoption of a heart-healthy diet.
- Management of risk factors for heart conditions.
- Accountability to a structured but customized program.
- Social engagement and improved emotional wellness.
Through a supervised heart-health program, patients gain benefits such as:
- Weight loss.
- Reduction in chest pain or other symptoms.
- Stress reduction.
- Reduced need for heart medication may be possible.
Why it matters
The benefits of cardiac rehab are extensive simply because this type of program can minimize future risks. Some would call it potentially life-saving. Data indicates a 30% reduction in fatal heart events in patients who have completed cardiac rehab, as well as reduced risk of a second cardiac event at all.