If you’ve suffered a heart attack or stroke, or have undergone recent heart surgery, a cardiac rehab program may be your next step to recovery. Structured and supervised by your physician, a cardiac rehabilitation program can help you:
• improve your cardiovascular fitness
• monitor your heart rate and blood pressure
• reduce your intake of foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol
• quit smoking
• manage stress
• meet others who have experienced a similar event
“You might not see a 100 percent recovery — at least not right away,” said Lake Regional’s Director of Cardiopulmonary Mike Sullivan. “But, the program can help reduce the risk factors for heart disease that can lead to another incident.”
Cardiac rehab at Lake Regional is a three-phase program that includes consultation and monitoring by a registered nurse, exercise physiologist and registered dietician. Throughout the phases, patients learn about their medications, diet and how to exercise safely.
The following outlines what to expect during the three phases of cardiac rehab.
Phase I — The first phase of cardiac rehab begins while patients are hospitalized. An educator visits patients in their rooms to discuss changes to their medications and diet, as well as the need to increase or modify their exercise routines.
Phase II — Participants visit the gym three times per week for seven to 12 weeks to work with therapists on individualized exercise plans. This phase also includes education on various topics, including medications, risk factors, cholesterol levels and healthy eating.
Phase III — Individuals who graduate from Phase II can continue supervised exercise, monitoring blood pressure and heart rate, as necessary. This phase also is open to community members who want to improve their heart health. This supervised program includes an exercise prescription and a dietary consult.
Lake Regional offers cardiac rehab phases II and III in Eldon, Laurie and Osage Beach, and phase III in Camdenton and Lake Ozark. For more information, call 573-302-2253 or visit lakeregional.com/HeartCare.