Going through any heart disease or condition is difficult, but the recovery process can feel endlessly long and gruelling. If you or a loved one have recently faced heart surgery, heart failure, or any other incident or attack, then you may be starting to look into cardiac rehabilitation programs. But what do these programs look like? What will you get out of them, and what can you expect? Find out as we walk you through the cardiac rehabilitation process, step by step.
This blog outlines the basics of cardiac rehabilitation – the benefits, what’s involved, and what conditions it can help you recover from. To enquire about a program for you or a loved one, contact Royal Rehab Private Petersham today.
Who cardiac rehabilitation is for
Cardiac rehabilitation is an option for a variety of people, as it acts as a recovery process for many forms of heart disease. A few of the most common conditions people have in their medical history that lead them to a rehabilitation program include:
- Heart attacks
- Heart failure
- Chest pain (angina)
- Coronary artery disease
- Peripheral artery disease
- Heart transplant
- Congenital heart disease
- Pulmonary hypertension
Cardiac rehabilitation can begin at different times, depending on the specifics of your situation. Some patients may find that they begin their program whilst still in the hospital, while most will begin their rehabilitation program as outpatients. At-home programs are an option for some patients, particularly if their condition or circumstances leave them unable to travel into a clinic regularly.
If you’ve been through a heart attack, surgery, or another sort of heart condition, then you’ll need to seek medical advice regarding whether a cardiac rehabilitation program is going to be the right avenue for you. Once you’ve found the best program for your health, your treatment team will work closely to help you prepare. This involves setting goals for your rehabilitation program and designing a process that is tailored entirely to your needs.
What to expect
Throughout your cardiac rehabilitation program, you’ll work with a team of healthcare experts, all working towards your recovery goals. This may include rehabilitation physicians, dieticians, exercise specialists, mental health specialists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists.
Here’s a rundown of a few things you can expect from your cardiac rehabilitation:
Early on, your medical team will evaluate your health. This initial assessment will establish your physical abilities, medical limitations, and any other condition that could possibly affect your rehabilitation. This will help in the tailoring of your program, and as you continue to get evaluated throughout the course your team will be able to keep track of your progress.
Your team will be involved in helping to offer you support, advice, and education regarding how you can be making healthy lifestyle changes to promote your health in the long run. This will involve getting you on a diet that’s good for the heart, a regular exercise program, helping you maintain a healthy weight, and quitting any nasty habits that could affect your heart.
Exercise and physical activity
Cardiac rehabilitation will be working to improve your cardiovascular fitness through physical activities chosen specifically to suit your health needs. Your healthcare team will be able to find safe, low-impact, and low-risk exercise options that will be beneficial for your health. This could include walking, jogging, cycling, or even yoga.
It’s possible that starting your program will be difficult. When you begin, you’ll likely be feeling unwell, and beginning the various activities involved in cardiac rehabilitation can be tough, even anxiety-inducing for some. But ultimately, you’ll be incredibly better off in the long run. And, it’s important to remember that your rehabilitation team is there to help you – be open about any hesitations, fears, or concerns throughout your time with them, and they’ll be ready to walk you through it all.
The benefits of rehabilitation
The most important thing people get from cardiac rehabilitation is an overall improvement in their quality of life. If you stick to your program and follow the guidance of your healthcare team, you could end up in a better position than before you faced any heart problems. To get the most out of your program, we recommend using the skills and habits picked up from your rehabilitation well after the program ends, making positive life changes to follow for years to come. Here are some of the ways cardiac rehabilitation can help:
- Adopt healthy habits, like exercise and heart-friendly diets
- Find weight management skills
- Improve strength
- Learn about management techniques for heart disease
- Decrease your risk of heart disease down the line
- Cut bad habits, like smoking
- Find stress management techniques
Contact Royal Rehab Private Petersham to enquire about cardiac rehabilitation
If you’ve been through a heart attack, heart surgery, or are facing some form of heart disease, then the road to recovery may look long and arduous. It’s essential that you remember you aren’t alone in this process. As you begin your cardiac rehabilitation, you will be surrounded by experts there to support, advise, and encourage you. If you’re looking for a rehabilitation program that will tailor every last detail to your health needs, Royal Rehab Private Petersham is the team you’re looking for. Contact us today to enquire about our cardiac rehabilitation programs.