Understanding Cardiac Rehabilitation

Recovery from a heart attack is a lifelong process that begins with care given immediately after the heart attack and continues with the lifestyle changes necessary to maintain good heart health.

The first stage of cardiac rehabilitation may involve surgery and medication to maintain the heart’s function. Once the heart is out of immediate danger, the patient’s role in recovery begins. The healthcare teen will design an exercise program, taking the patient’s health and past level of fitness into account, to gradually build up the heart’s strength and stamina.

Many communities offer supervised exercise programs for those with health problems such as heart disease.

Diet is another important factor in recovery. Reducing fat and cholesterol and perhaps losing a few pounds will decrease stress on the heart and limit the accumulation of heart-blocking deposits in the arteries.

If you are recovering from a heart attack, it is not necessary or even wise to give up your active life. Work with your healthcare team to develop a program of proper diet and exercise to gradually increase your health and strength. If you smoke, quit now. Evaluate your daily activities and eliminate unneeded stress. Not only will you be doing your heart a favor; you just may feel healthier and more energetic than you ever have before.

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