If you have heart surgery or a cardiac event, your cardiologist may recommend a cardiac rehabilitation program as part of your recovery.
And definitely sign up.
Cardiac rehab provides education and counseling services to heart patients, tailored to their individual needs and abilities. The focus is to get you safely exercising for the rest of your life.
Benefits of exercise
“The American Heart Association recommends regular exercise for treating and preventing certain heart diseases,” said Dr. Shereif Rezkalla, a Marshfield Clinic cardiologist. “While the more exercise you can perform is good, any exercise is good for you.”
After a heart attack or other major cardiac event, many people are reluctant to exercise for fear of triggering another event. He explained the rehab staff closely monitors exercise to help you confidently recover.
Reduce future heart problem risk
A cardiac rehab program usually is 12 weeks long. During that time, you typically exercise three days each week for about an hour each day, in addition to meeting with a nutritionist. At the end of the program, you will have better overall fitness. Most important, rehab can help reduce the risk of future heart problems.
“After you’ve had a cardiac event or procedure, cardiac exercise is even more important,” Rezkalla said. “We have organized cardiac rehab programs that tailor personalized programs with heart monitoring during exercise. Cardiac rehab has significant benefits with patients feeling better and living longer.”
Cardiac rehab is just as important as medicines like beta blockers or statins to reduce death rates after a heart attack. Surprisingly, though, nationally less than 13 percent of those who are eligible for rehab take part.
Check your health insurance since many most likely will cover cardiac rehab program costs.