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All About Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs

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If you have had any recent heath issues due to cardiovascular disease, you may be a good candidate for a cardiac rehabilitation program. These programs are focused on helping those with heart disease improve their cardiovascular health. They typically take place in a hospital or community center under the guidance of trained health care professionals. This article looks at some of the most important aspects of cardiac rehab courses. 


The best candidates for cardiac rehabilitation are people who are recovering from some form of cardiovascular disease or who have recently undergone a heart procedure. For example, if you have recently suffered a heart attack, then your doctor may recommend that you enter one of these programs. Patients who have coronary artery disease or who have received a valve replacement or pacemaker may also benefit from cardiac rehab. 


Most cardiac rehabilitation courses involve four main elements. One of the most important is the ongoing evaluation of your condition by a team of medical experts. They will make certain that you are making good progress and not doing any damage to your heart. The other key components are exercise, nutritional and lifestyle counseling, and emotional support.  


Cardiac rehab programs offer several key advantage for recovering heart patients. For example, entering a program may lower your risk of having a heart attack or other serious heart problem. It may also decrease the chances that you will need to go to the hospital or emergency room to resolve a cardiovascular issue. As you make progress in your recovery, you may find that you are able to be more active in your everyday activities as well. For instance, you may be able to engage in more social events and perform more efficiently at work. 


The timeline for cardiac rehabilitation programs can vary based on the needs of the patient. The program might last anywhere from a few weeks to six months, or even longer. A typical program, such as the one offered by the University of Kentucky health care system, lasts for about three months. Your cardiologist and health care team will recommend a timeline for your participation.   

Cardiac rehab programs offer significant benefits to many cardiovascular patients. There are some exceptions to this, however, so make certain that your physician gives you permission to enter one of these courses. Talk to your cardiologist or family doctor for more information on this important topic.