WHAT IS CARDIAC REHABILITATION?
Cardiac rehabilitation is also known as cardiac rehab. It is a customized and medically supervised program that helps in improving cardiovascular health when you are recovering from cardiovascular complications. The program involves educating the patient about heart diseases, incorporates suitable exercises in daily routine, and helps to reduce stress. One of the goals of cardiac rehabilitation is to prevent the recurrence of cardiovascular complications by managing risk factors.
WHEN IS CARDIAC REHABILITATION REQUIRED?
Consult your doctor if you are eligible for cardiac rehabilitation. Cardiac rehabilitation is generally advisable for the following conditions:
Coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG)
Peripheral artery disease
Chest pain (angina pectoris)
Coronary artery disease
Transplantation of heart and lungs
Angioplasty and stent implantation
Certain congenital heart diseases (heart disease present with birth)
Cardiomyopathy (weakening of the cardiac muscle)
Surgery for valvular heart disease
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF CARDIAC REHABILITATION?
Cardiac rehabilitation offers several advantages to patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Some of them are:
Muscle strengthening: cardiac rehabilitation helps in improving the strength of muscles. The muscles may be of the heart or the lungs.
Symptomatic relief: You may also have the symptomatic treatment during cardiac rehabilitation, such as chest pain.
Stress buster: People have stress after they have a heart attack. During cardiac rehabilitation, the health care team helps in reducing stress and improves mood.
Medicine scheduled: During cardiac rehabilitation, you may be more likely to take medications strictly as per the prescribed schedule. The practice is imbibed in your routine for the future.
Reducing future risk: Cardiac rehabilitation helps in reducing the future risk of cardiovascular complications.
Active lifestyle: Through cardiac rehabilitation, you can lead a healthy and active life, which is a prerequisite for a healthy heart. The team will help you quit smoking (if you smoke) and provide information about a heart-healthy diet.
WHAT ARE THE ACTIVITIES AND EXERCISES DONE DURING CARDIAC REHABILITATION?
Several activities take place during cardiac rehabilitation. Some of the activities are:
Lifestyle and disease education: During cardiac rehabilitation, the healthcare team will provide detailed information about the disease and associated risk factors. It will help you to take good care of yourself. Further, the team also advises you to follow a healthy lifestyle that would prevent the recurrence of the disease.
Physical activity: You may be provided with several physical activities depending upon the type of disease you are suffering. The activities include running, jogging, yoga, meditation, cycling, and rowing. The healthcare team will also help you in performing muscle strengthening exercises.
Continuous medical evaluation: The healthcare team will monitor your health throughout the rehabilitation program to track your progress. It will help the team to alter the activities during rehabilitation.
Share and care program: The rehabilitation team will help you to socialize yourself with the other members of the group. This will help you to reduce your stress.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT PHASES OF CARDIAC REHABILITATION?
There are generally four phases of a cardiac rehabilitation program. They are:
Phase I: This is the acute phase of rehabilitation. This phase initiates just after the cardiovascular condition occurs. The goal of this phase is to access your condition and help increase your mobility.
Phase II: This phase is subacute. The phases initiate after your discharge. The goal of this phase is to analyze the effect of exercise on your heart.
Phase III: This phase involves intensive outpatient therapy. During this phase, you may be able to perform group exercises and can monitor the response of the heart to exercise.
Phase IV: This phase involves conditioning. The knowledge, both informative and practical, provided during the first three phases makes you capable to perform the exercise without any professional support.
HOW LONG IS CARDIAC REHABILITATION?
The length of the cardiac rehabilitation depends upon your disease and its severity. The length of cardiac rehabilitation is generally three months. However, it may extend to eight months, depending upon your condition.
WHAT RESULTS CAN I EXPECT AFTER CARDIAC REHABILITATION?
Cardiac rehabilitation significantly improves your quality of life and enhances your heart health. You may be able to manage your weight and stress. You can perform exercises which are best for your heart.