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Cardiac rehabilitation (also called cardiac rehab) is a medically supervised program of exercise, education and support for people with heart disease to improve their health.
Cardiac rehabilitation involves a long term commitment from the patient and a team of health care providers. Our team includes doctors (such as your primary care doctor, your surgeon, and a cardiologist who will monitor your plan and progress), specially trained cardiac rehab nurses, and dietitians or nutritionists. This team also includes a care coordinator who will track your care and navigate insurance concerns.
Cardiac Rehabilitation Education Classes
Who uses a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program?
Many people of all ages who have heart conditions can benefit if they have had a:
- Heart attack within the past year
- Congestive heart failure (newly covered by Medicare)
- Angina (chest pain)
- Heart surgery
- Bypass surgery
- Heart valve replacement or repair
- Heart or heart/lung transplant
- Heart procedure
- Angioplasty ("ballooning")
What You Can Expect from Cardiac Rehabilitation:
- A medical evaluation to determine your needs and limitations, including a medical history, a physical exam and tests to check your overall health.
- A physical activity program tailored to your needs. Training often starts in a group setting where your heart rate, cardiac rhythm and blood pressure are monitored during physical activity.
- Receive counseling and education about your condition. This might be working with a dietitian to create a healthy eating plan or counseling on how to stop smoking. Counseling may also help you cope with depression, anger and stress during your recovery.
- Support and training to help you set health goals, return to work or your normal activities, and to help you learn to manage your heart condition.
- A long-term maintenance program to continue your exercise, education and support group activities for as long as you like. The healthy lifestyle changes you learn can benefit your entire family.
What are the benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation?
- Decrease pain and the need for medicines to treat heart or chest pain.
- Lessen the chance that you'll have to go back to the hospital or emergency room.
- Improve your overall health by reducing your risk factors for heart problems.
- Improve your quality of life, making it easier for you to work, be socially active and exercise.
- People who attend on a regular basis also lower their blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels and become more independent and prevent disability.
Are there Risks associated with Cardiac Rehabilitation?
The lifestyle changes you will make have few risks. At first, physical activity is safer in the rehab setting than at home. Your team will watch you to make sure you're safe; checking your blood pressure during your exercise training and using an EKG (electrocardiogram) to monitor how your heart reacts and adapts to exercise. After some training, most people learn to exercise safely at home.
Exercise training may not be safe for all patients. People who have very high blood pressure or severe heart disease may not be ready to exercise.
Very rarely, serious problems occur during physical activity-we have an emergency response team including cardiologists and nurses available. Ask your doctor whether cardiac rehabilitation is for you-physician referral is required in order to obtain insurance coverage. We will work with your insurance carrier to secure coverage.
Educational classes are offered at no charge to the public, on various days each month. Memorial's Cardiac Rehabilitation & Wellness Center, 406 South 30th Ave, Yakima - 2nd Floor. Visit yakimamemorial.org/events or call 509 575-5990 for upcoming class dates, times and titles. No registration needed.
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