After having a cardiac event, you may feel hesitant to begin your normal activities for fear of triggering another episode or putting too much strain on your heart. Our Cardiac Rehabilitation Program can help by providing expert guidance and monitoring as you regain your strength and stamina and reduce your risk for repeat heart problems.
What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?
Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised exercise and education program that helps to improve your health and well-being. Most individuals undergo cardiac rehabilitation after having a heart problem or to improve an acquired heart condition.
By enrolling in our Cardiac Rehabilitation program, you should experience a faster recovery from your cardiac event. Our goals include:
- Help you increase endurance
- Improve muscle strength
- Maintain a healthy blood pressure and heart rate
- Improve your lipid panel
- Provide education and tips to incorporate an exercise program into daily activities
The Three Phases of Cardiac Rehabilitation
There are generally three phases to cardiac rehabilitation. Each phase is designed to meet your individual needs throughout your recovery.
Phase I: Individuals who have been hospitalized or have an underlying heart condition may discuss heart disease, lifestyle, and cardiac rehabilitation with their caregiver.
Phase II: Occurs at our Cardiac Rehab gym on the first floor of the Lifestyle Rx wellness center. This phase includes closely monitored exercise training and education on heart-healthy living.
Phase III: Following cardiac rehabilitation, you have the option to continue an exercise maintenance program. Here you will learn to self-monitor your overall cardiovascular status as you continue your exercise program, working to achieve optimal health.
What Should You Expect?
Once your physician or surgeon refers you for cardiac rehabilitation (Phase II), we will call to set up your initial intake appointment and review your insurance coverage. Most insurance covers 3 months, or 36 sessions, of cardiac rehabilitation. We have options if you do not qualify for insurance coverage.
You will work with one of our highly trained exercise physiologists during your initial evaluation, which takes 1-2 hours. We will establish your physiologic baseline, taking measurements of your blood pressure, pulse, and electrocardiogram (EKG) while you exercise. From these results, we work with you to determine your baseline fitness level, develop goals, and create an individually tailored treatment plan.
After the initial evaluation, you will have cardiac rehabilitation sessions 2-3 times a week for the duration of your program. We make every attempt to tailor your session times to your schedule.
Cardiac rehabilitation improves your cardiovascular fitness through carefully monitored cardiovascular and strength-building exercises. You will wear a small cardiovascular monitor during your workout, which transmits your heart rate, blood pressure and electrocardiogram (EKG) readings to our exercise physiologists and cardiovascular physician. As you engage in activity, our physiologists ensure that you do not over-stress your heart, allowing you to exercise and build endurance safely.
More than just an exercise program, cardiac rehabilitation incorporates a comprehensive educational element. Our staff works with each participant to review all aspects of heart care, including exercise, diet, stress management and conditions such as diabetes.
Post Cardiac Rehabilitation
At the completion of your cardiac rehabilitation, you will have the tools necessary to continue living a heart-healthy life. You will likely feel stronger, have more physical endurance, and feel confidence in your heart while performing physical tasks.
If desired, you can continue with Phase III, a supervised exercise program that enables you to self-manage your cardiovascular health without the use of a heart monitor. This self-pay option takes place in the Cardiac Rehab department and lasts three months.
Strong Hearts Program
Because many patients want to continue their exercise regimen, we have created "Strong Hearts," a maintenance program for cardiac rehabilitation graduates. Strong Hearts takes place in the LifeStyleRx wellness center. Here, our exercise physiologists and wellness instructors provide light supervision while you exercise, with a focus on muscle strength training, balance and agility. We will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and exercise progress, ensuring that you have the confidence and support to continue with your physical goals independently, keeping your heart healthy and safe.