Cardiac rehabilitation is a branch of rehabilitation medicine or physical therapy dealing with optimizing physical function in patients with cardiac disease or recent cardiac surgeries.
Cardiac Rehabilitation Team
Cardiac rehab is provided in an outpatient clinic or in a hospital rehab centre.
The cardiac rehab team includes:
- Exercise physiologist
Who is it for?
- Elderly people.
- Patients post angioplasty/cardiac surgery.
- Patients with Diabetes, Hypertension, Obesity.
- Patients with underlying cardiac conditions.
Before starting your program, the rehab team will take your medical history, do a physical exam, and perform tests. They will check the patient for all risk factors. You also may have tests to measure your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. During cardiac rehab, you will learn to exercise safely and increase your physical activity. The length of time that you spend in cardiac rehab depends on your condition.
- Better exercise tolerance leading to safely increasing physical activity in daily life.
- Managing symptoms eg. Chest pain.
- Lowering future risk through lifestyle changes.
- Improved quality of life: Strengthening your heart and your body after a heart attack.
- Improved mental well-being and reduction in overall stress/illness related depression.
What happens in a program like this?
Cardiac rehab is a supervised program that includes:
- Physical activity
- Education about healthy living, including healthy eating, taking medication as prescribed and ways to help you develop healthier habits eg., quitting to smoking.
- Counselling to find ways to relieve stress and improve mental health.
After cardiac rehabilitation
After your cardiac rehabilitation program ends, you’ll need to continue the diet, exercise and other healthy lifestyle habits for the prescribed time. The goal is that at the end of the program you’re confident to exercise on your own and you’re empowered to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Timely reviews will ensure you stay on track.
– Anuja Mhatre, Consultant Physiotherapist, Mind Your Fitness!
Anuja specialises in cardiac rehab, ante and postnatal care.