Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, also known as cardiac rehab, is a program designed to assist individuals in maximizing his/her quality of life after a cardiac event. The sessions include both exercise and learning about heart healthy behaviors: heart healthy exercise types and appropriate intensity of exercise, meal planning using American Heart Association guidelines for daily saturated fat intake and salt intake, appropriate carbohydrate intake, management of stressors, and tobacco cessation in addition to other topics.
The program includes three phases and is 4-18 weeks in length, depending on your doctor’s orders and your progress. It places a strong emphasis on a lifelong physical activity regimen and heart healthy lifestyle which also promotes an overall healthier style of living.
PHASE 1 occurs while the person is hospitalized. Pertinent risk factors are discussed. Benefits of physical activity, meal planning, stress management, blood pressure goals, weight management and tobacco cessation are discussed as appropriate. In patient physical activity and goals are also discussed.
PHASE 2 begins soon after discharge from the hospital. It requires a physician order. Participants participate in a monitored physical activity program. Education to assist agreed upon lifestyle behavior change needs is also provided.
PHASE 3 is available to those who desire to exercise at a facility where there is staff available for emergencies or questions regarding their exercise program.