You wouldn’t head home from the doctor’s office without filling your medication prescription. Yet studies show that only about 1 in every 4 people who suffer a heart attack, heart surgery or other cardiac condition follow their doctor’s orders and complete Cardiac Rehabilitation.
That’s a shame, because cardiac rehab – completed over the course of 18 to 36 sessions (six to 12 weeks) – is proven to not only reduce a person’s risk for a second heart event, but it also makes them feel healthier. Most health insurance plans cover cardiac rehab. And it’s 100% safe, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In honor of #NationalCardiacRehabWeek, let’s look at 5 reasons why people with heart conditions should fill that prescription for cardiac rehab:
- You’ll meet some great people.
Between the ice-cold weather and the pandemic, we’re all stuck inside more often than not these days. Attending cardiac rehab sessions can help you enjoy some much-needed connection with others. “We often say our program is like the TV show ‘Cheers,’ with sweat” says Elaine Feiss, an exercise physiologist with Grand View Health’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. “People meet other people with similar diagnoses and they find themselves in a supportive, caring environment.”
- You’ll learn something new.
While recovering from a heart attack in the hospital, you’ll receive a lot of information. If you’re like most people, you won’t remember it all. At Cardiac Rehab, you receive hints and tricks you can use to help you give your heart the self-care it needs. “We can answer your questions about your medications and reinforce heart-healthy behaviors,” Feiss says. “And if we don’t know the answer to your question, we’ll close the loop with your cardiologist to find out.”
- You’ll have a whole team cheering you on.
When you exercise during a Cardiac Rehabilitation session at Grand View Health, a nurse and exercise physiologist will be right there in the gym with you at all times. “Many of our team members have worked here for decades, so we know what to watch for and how to help,” Feiss says. You’ll wear a telemetry monitor while you exercise, so you’ll know your heart rate, rhythm and blood pressure.
- You’ll discover new-found confidence.
It’s natural to be concerned about having another heart attack—especially so soon after having a first one. Cardiac Rehab will give you confidence, helping you know what you can do safely. “We will assess whether you can get back to work, help you know which exercises you can do at home, and help you trust your heart’s abilities again,” Feiss says.
- You’ll work out in a COVID-19-safe environment. Everyone in cardiac rehabilitation—patients and staff members—wears masks. Equipment in the gym is spaced six feet apart. All exercise equipment is wiped down between each use. Items like pens and clipboards get disinfected regularly. No COVID-19 infections have been traced to Grand View Health Cardiac Rehab.
Learn more about Cardiac Rehab at Grand View Health.