Cardiac rehab doesn’t change the past but it can help your future

The American Heart Association says cardiac rehab doesn’t change your past, but it can help you improve your heart’s future. It’s a program which is medically supervised and designed to help your heart, if you’ve experienced a heart attack, heart failure or heart surgery.

There are three parts: Exercise gets your heart pumping and your entire cardiovascular system working. Know your risk factors. You’ll need to manage those factors which include choosing healthy food, quitting smoking and in general living heart healthy. Reduce your stress.  Stress, according to the American Heart Association, hurts your heart.  This part of rehab helps a patient identify and tackle everyday sources of stress.

Joanna Hamrick knows all about heart disease. She’s had triple bypass surgery and stents placed in clogged arteries.  She’s had so many stents, she can’t remember how many.

“They also found a blockage toward my kidneys,” says Hamrick. “So they put a stent in that, at the same time.”

After her surgeries, Hamrick took advantage of the program American Senior Communities offers. Dan Mckinzie is a rehab consultant.

“It’s really about keeping moving,” says Mckinzie. “You look at vital signs, blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation levels.  And with exercise, it’s proven you can stabilize those parameters. So in turn, you’re healthier.”

Cardiac rehab is a team effort. It should always be medically supervised and partnered with one’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, even family and friends.  It is comprehensive involving choices, lifestyle and habits that affect the heart.

For Joanna, it’s simple moves.  Repetitive motions involving very light weights

“You have to exercise,” says Joanna. “You have to walk, you have to ride bicycles, anything you can do to keep the blood flowing.”

The American Heart Association also recommends a patient set some heart health goals; take an active role in one’s care.  Medicines should be taken correctly and call 9-1-1 if any symptoms worsen.

For more information on cardiac rehab services American Senior Communities offers click here.

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