woman on exercise bike

What does cardiac rehab involve?

Cardiac rehabilitation doesn’t change your past, but it can help you improve your heart’s future.

Cardiac rehab is a medically supervised program designed to improve your cardiovascular health if you have experienced heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty or heart surgery. Cardiac rehab has three equally important parts:

  • Exercise counseling and training: Exercise gets your heart pumping and your entire cardiovascular system working. You’ll learn how to get your body moving in ways that promote heart health.
  • Education for heart-healthy living: A key element of cardiac rehab is educating yourself: How can you manage your risk factors? Quit smoking? Make heart-healthy nutrition choices?
  • Counseling to reduce stress: Stress hurts your heart. This part of cardiac rehab helps you identify and tackle everyday sources of stress.

Cardiac rehab is a team effort

You don’t need to face heart disease alone. Cardiac rehab is a team effort.

You’ll partner with doctors, nurses, pharmacists – plus family and friends – to take charge of the choices, lifestyle and habits that affect your heart.

Getting started

Here’s how to get going and make the most of cardiac rehab:

  • Ask your doctor if you are eligible.
  • If you are, register for a cardiac rehab program.
  • In consultation with your medical team, set goals for your heart health.
  • Work together to create a cardiac rehab plan.
  • Take an active role in your care to achieve your goals.
  • Keep taking your medicines correctly.
  • Call 911 if you experience new or worsening symptoms.

Source: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cardiac-rehab/what-is-cardiac-rehabilitation

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