Cardiac rehabilitation, or rehab, is a medically supervised program that may help improve the health and well-being of people who have heart problems. Captain Miller, can you tell us about cardiac rehab?
Certainly, Dr. Phillips. Providers may prescribe cardiac rehab for angina or after coronary artery bypass grafting, angioplasty, or a heart attack. Nearly everyone who has coronary artery disease can benefit from cardiac rehab.
The cardiac rehab team may involve a number of health professionals, including:
- Exercise specialists
- Physical and occupational therapists
- Dietitians or nutritionists, and
- Psychologists or other mental health specialists
There are two parts of cardiac rehab. The first part includes education, counseling, and training, which help the patient understand their heart condition and identify ways to reduce their risk for future heart problems. The rehab team also helps the patient learn how to cope with the stress of adjusting to a new lifestyle and how to deal with fears about the future.
The second part of cardiac rehab is exercise training. This part helps the patient learn how to exercise safely, strengthen muscles, and improve stamina. An exercise plan is developed based on personal abilities, needs, and interests.