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What You Need to Know About Cardiac Rehabilitation

February 15, 2023

If you or a loved one has recently suffered from a heart attack. Your biggest concern is probably recovering and returning to normal as soon as possible. You’re not alone. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), heart disease remains the number one cause of death in the United States, and the average age at the first heart attack was 65.6 years of males and 72 years for females. If your physician has recommended cardiac rehabilitation, you’re probably wondering what it entails. Here’s everything you need to know about cardiac rehabilitation, including what it is and how it can help heal your heart and get you back on your feet.

What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program for anyone recovering from a heart attack, heart surgery, or heart failure. You’ll work with a team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, nutrition specialists, and physical and occupational therapists. Cardiac rehabilitation improves strength and mobility, which can be especially beneficial for older adults with arthritis or mobility issues.  

Cardiac rehabilitation is a supervised program that includes the following:

  • Counseling for stress relief and mental health
  • Exercise training and monitoring
  • Heart healthy lifestyle education

How to Prepare for Cardiac Rehabilitation

Once you’ve decided to participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program, the following tips can help you prepare:

  • Ask questions. Educate yourself and learn as much as you can about your health and what you need to do to recover
  • Follow the program. You have a team of heart professionals who are there to help. Listen to them and follow their instructions during and after your program.
  • Check your insurance. The last thing you want to worry about is money. Medicare Part B covers cardiac rehab for people who meet specific requirements.

How Cardiac Rehabilitation Can Help Heal Your Heart

Cardiac rehabilitation will help you regain control of your health, so you can get back to doing what you love. A cardiac rehabilitation program can benefit your health and heart by:

  • Relieving symptoms such as chest pain
  • Lowering your risk of a future cardiac event
  • Teaching you ways to manage stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Helping you lose weight and eat healthier
  • Increasing your energy and strength
  • Helping with medication management
  • Educating you on safe, effective ways to exercise

Phases of Cardiac Rehabilitation

A comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation program starts before you leave the hospital and consists of the following three phases:

Impatient or Clinical Phase

This phase begins with assessing your condition while in the hospital to determine your physical ability and willingness to enter a cardiac rehabilitation program.

Early Outpatient Phase

Once you’re cleared to leave the hospital, you’ll begin cardiac rehabilitation. Cardiac rehabilitation can last between three to twelve weeks and includes supervised exercise programs, heart disease risk education, and lifestyle changes.

Outpatient or Maintenance Phase

The final phase of cardiac rehabilitation includes education to help you manage heart disease risk factors by making healthy lifestyle changes.

Having a heart attack is scary! However, there are ways to take control of your heart and overall health after a heart attack.  A cardiac rehabilitation program can help you do both. If you’re in the Yuma, Arizona, area, and are looking for information on rehabilitation services, contact the friendly professionals at Ridgeview Transitional Rehabilitation.