Cardiac rehabilitation (cardiac rehab)
is a professionally supervised program designed by your healthcare team. It'll help
recover from your heart problem and reduce your risk of future heart problems. You
helped by cardiac rehab if you have certain heart conditions or certain heart procedures.
- Stable angina
- Heart attack
- Stable heart failure
- Coronary artery bypass surgery
- Heart valve surgery
- Angioplasty with or without a stent
- Heart-lung transplant
Along with a tailored exercise
program, cardiac rehab provides education and counseling to improve health. The cardiac
rehab program includes:
- An assessment of your health
- Managing your risk factors such as high cholesterol, blood
pressure, and diabetes
- Education on diet and medicines
- Exercise training
- Losing weight
- Quitting smoking
- Emotional aspects such as stress, anxiety, or depression
It's important to talk with your provider about the health benefits of enrolling in
cardiac rehab program. .
Your rehab program
Your cardiac rehab program may
start while you’re still in the hospital. After you leave the hospital, you may go
facility for rehab classes. You’ll regain some strength and learn how to exercise
safely. Once you do that, your healthcare provider may prescribe an exercise program
you to do at a gym or at home.
As an inpatient
You may start light exercise within
2 days of entering
the hospital once you have the healthcare provider's approval. Your activity may be
limited based on the procedure you had such as bypass surgery, valve replacement,
coronary angioplasty, or coronary stenting.
As an outpatient
As early as
1 to 2 weeks after leaving the
hospital, you can join a supervised rehab program. Ask for a referral from your
healthcare provider. Before leaving the hospital, your provider can provide contact
enrollment information. See if your healthcare team can get an appointment set up
you're discharged home.
Exercises will be prescribed
to help you build strength and movement. The first month will most likely include
easier exercises. Over time, you’ll exercise harder to improve your endurance.
Your heart, oxygen
saturation, and blood pressure may be watched as you work.
Cardiac rehab programs are
tailored to meet your needs. Some people may take part in the program for 6 weeks
while others will do it for 6 months or longer.
- Some people may not have access to a facility-based cardiac
rehab. Home-based cardiac rehab is considered in some cases for some people. Virtual
programs may also be available. Ask your provider if these are an option for
Maintain the benefits to your
Don’t stop once you’ve finished
your program! Make what you learned in rehab a regular part of your life. Here are
Work out at home or at a gym.
Try watching a new workout video each week. Take an exercise class. Find something
that keeps you interested.
Ask family and friends to
help you stay motivated. The healthy lifestyle changes can benefit them as well by
partnering up and working out together.
Make other lifestyle changes
to improve your heart and overall health. Quit smoking. Make changes to lower your
stress. Lose excess weight. And lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.
It's important to keep an
open conversation with your healthcare provider about your progress and goals.