Why Cardiac Rehab Is a Good Idea

February 13th, 2020

People who have had a heart attack, heart surgery, heart failure or angioplasty often receive prescriptions for cardiac rehabilitation, programs proven to make your heart stronger. Yet studies show fewer than one-third of patients take advantage of cardiac rehab’s benefits despite having a prescription.

Cardiac rehab is part of the continuum of care for a cardiac patient, says exercise physiologist Elaine Feiss, MS, with Grand View Health’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. “Participating in cardiac rehab allows you to improve your heart function, improve your fitness, reduce stress, improve your mood, regain confidence and create healthier habits that can help you improve your quality of life,” she says. “Just be careful, you may end up having fun, too.”

What Cardiac Rehab Includes

The Grand View Health cardiac rehab team, conveniently located at the Sellersville Outpatient Center, creates a custom plan for each patient based on his or her cardiac needs . Programs last between six and 12 weeks and will include exercise and telemetry monitoring two to three times per week. Registered nurses and exercise physiologists staff the program

Our cardiac rehab programs include these components:

  • Exercise – Grand View offers aerobic exercise on the newest equipment, allowing you to safely increase your level of fitness. We also have resistive equipment for strength training. As you exercise, our staff—trained in cardiac care—will be right by your side.
  • Telemetry Monitoring- Cardiac monitoring allows us to watch heart rate and rhythm during exercise. We also monitor blood pressure before, during and after exercise.
  • Education and counseling – You’ll learn about your recovery, get lifestyle and nutrition tips that will help you live a heart-healthy life, and receive lifestyle modification counseling as needed. “Knowledge is the key that unlocks change.”

“People who complete their cardiac rehab program will improve their strength, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness,” Feiss says. “Cardiac rehab can also facilitate return to work, return to participation in recreational activities, travel and hobbies. Participating in cardiac rehab helps patients get their life back.”

Cardiac rehab also brings another benefit: camaraderie. People in the program often share experiences and develop friendships. “These close bonds help to boost the confidence, spirit and morale of people living with heart disease,” Feiss says. “That sense of connection and belonging also keeps people motivated to complete their full course of rehab. In fact, many of our patients continue in our Lifestyle Fitness program.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, cardiac rehab programs are both effective and safe. Serious problems during physical activity at cardiac rehab are rare, and if they occur, the rehab team will immediately stop the physical activity, administer appropriate treatment and contact your doctor.

Grand View Health’s Cardiac Rehab program benefits people recovering from a heart attack, coronary angioplasty, coronary bypass surgery or people with coronary artery disease or congestive heart failure. Grand View also offers a Supervised Exercise Program for people with intermittent claudication or peripheral artery disease (PAD) that includes lifestyle changes, exercise and education.