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What You Can Expect at Cardiac Rehabilitation
In this program, you'll work with a team of health care professionals who will guide you through each step of the process. The first stage generally lasts about three months, but some people may be in the program longer. In special situations, some complete an intensive program that lasts several hours a day for one or two weeks. Learn about the program components below.
Your health care team will perform an initial assessment to check your physical abilities, medical limitations and other conditions you may have. Ongoing assessments can help your team track your progress over time.
During the assessment, your team may look at your risk factors for heart complications, particularly during exercise. This can help your team tailor a program to meet your individual needs, and make sure it's safe and effective for you.
Our program can improve your cardiac fitness through physical activity. Your team will likely suggest low-impact exercise that has a low risk of injury, such as walking, cycling, rowing and jogging, at least three times a week. Your team will teach you proper techniques, such as warming up and cooling down.
You may also do muscle-strengthening exercises, such as lifting weights or other resistance training, two or three times a week to increase your muscular fitness.
Don't worry if you've never exercised before. Your team will make sure the program moves at a safe and comfortable pace for you.
You'll receive support and education on making healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating a heart-healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and quitting smoking.
Your team may give you guidance about managing conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.
You'll likely have opportunities to ask questions about other issues, too, such as sexual activity. You'll need to continue taking any medications you've been prescribed by your health care provider.
Adjusting to a serious health problem takes time. You may feel depressed or anxious, lose touch with your social support system, or have to stop working for several weeks.
If you get depressed, don't ignore it. Depression can make the program more difficult and affect relationships and other areas of your life and health.
Counseling can help you learn healthy ways to cope with depression and other feelings. Your health care provider may suggest medications such as antidepressants. Vocational or occupational therapy can teach you new skills to help you return to work.
Although it may be difficult to start a cardiac rehabilitation program when you're not feeling well, you can benefit over the long run. Our program can guide you through fear and anxiety as you return to an active lifestyle with more motivation and energy to do the things you enjoy.
Our program can help you rebuild your life, physically and emotionally. As you get stronger and learn how to manage your condition, you'll likely return to a normal routine, along with your new diet and exercise habits.
It's important to know that your chances of having success rest largely with you. The more dedicated you are to following the program, the better you'll do.
After the program
After the program ends, you'll generally need to continue the diet, exercise and other healthy lifestyle habits you learned for the rest of your life to maintain heart health benefits. The goal is that at the end of the program, you're confident to exercise on your own and able to maintain a healthier lifestyle.