Cardiac rehabilitation is a very important component to help with a full recovery. Cardiac rehab can help prevent another, perhaps more serious, heart attack and can help build heart-healthy habits.
Heart attack statistics are grim. Nearly 800,000 people in the United States have a heart attack every year. Cardiac rehabilitation not only helps a person recover from a heart problem, but it can also prevent another heart problem in the future.
Cardiac Rehabilitation: What Is It?
Heart rehabilitation is a supervised program run by skilled professionals and is an important program for anyone recovering from a heart attack or heart failure. This is especially important if the patient had surgery.
Here’s an overview of what cardiac rehab provides:
- Physical activity.
- Education about healthy living, including healthy eating, taking medicine as prescribed, and ways to help you quit smoking.
- Counseling to find ways to relieve stress and improve mental health.
A team of highly skilled doctors and nurses help you through the rehab, including your health care team, exercise and nutrition specialists, physical therapists, and counselors.
Cardiac Rehabilitation: Who Benefits?
Anyone who has had a heart problem, such as a heart attack, heart failure, or heart surgery, can benefit from cardiac rehab. Studies have found that cardiac rehab helps men and women, people of all ages, and people with mild, moderate, and severe heart problems.
Senior citizens are an age group that can certainly benefit. It’s very useful since it can improve strength and mobility to help make their daily tasks easier.
One of the benefits include building healthier habits, such as finding an enjoyable physical activity which helps you stay heart-healthy for life.
Cardiac Rehabilitation: How It Helps
It provides many health benefits in both the short and long-term, including:
- Strengthens the heart and body after a heart attack.
- Relieves symptoms of heart problems, such as chest pain.
- Builds healthier habits, including getting more physical activity, quitting smoking, and eating a heart-healthy diet. A nutritionist works with you to help you limit foods with unhealthy fats and eat more fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
- Reduces stress.
- Improves your mood. People are more likely to feel depressed after a heart attack.
- Increases energy and strength, making daily activities easier.
- Prevents future heart problems and death.
- Rehabilitation decreases the chances of death within the five years following a heart attack by 20% to 30%.
The rehab usually last about three months but can range anywhere from two to eight months.
Furthermore, most insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare, will cover it but require your doctor to provide a referral for the program.