The benefits of cardiac rehab are verified: Patients who complete cardiac rehab are up to 30% less likely to die in the five years after a major cardiac event. To recover full mobility and prevent future complications, injured muscles often require a rehabilitation process like physical therapy. The heart works harder than every other muscle in the body, so it’s no surprise how beneficial rehab is for heart events.
But what is cardiac rehab? The purpose of cardiac rehab is to help hospital-discharged patients make healthier lifestyle choices regarding exercise, smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol, nutrition, and more. By combining psychological and social support, cardiac rehab helps participants achieve lasting lifestyle changes; attendees are 57% less likely to die of heart-related causes.
Despite the benefits of attending, the recommendation to do so is often buried within a lengthy discharge packet. If you’ve recently experienced a cardiac event or know someone who has, then take a closer look at the lifesaving benefits of attending cardiac rehab. Attending patients experience:
- Healthy lifestyle changes — Poor dietary choices and an inactive lifestyle can exacerbate heart conditions, but old habits are hard to break. About 31% of all global deaths are due to cardiovascular disease, which develops as a result of unhealthy weight, poor stress management, and smoking. Cardiac rehab teaches people how to control these risk factors and improve long-term heart health.
- Personalized exercise plans — Patients who have gone through cardiac events are understandably anxious about exercise and other strenuous activities. One of the biggest benefits of cardiac rehab is having a personalized exercise plan and a dedicated coach who can ease your concerns and provide encouragement as you transition back to daily life at home. Physical activity not only helps your heart, but it strengthens your coordination, balance, and muscles.
- Ongoing assessments and analyzations — Risk factors like blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol need to be monitored after a heart attack. For example, too much cholesterol blocks arteries and can lead to a heart attack, but the perfect amount helps you digest food and make Vitamin D. Going through cardiac rehab teaches patients how to review each risk factor and interpret the results so that they have early warning signs of new or returning issues.
- Psychological and social support — Cardiac events affect patients physically, emotionally, and socially in ways they never anticipated. Cardiac rehab provides patients with all elements needed to completely recover, including counseling for depression or other psychological concerns. Many programs also connect patients with similar conditions in order foster a community of recovery and support. When people are happy, they live longer (and healthier) lives.
- Improved access to healthcare professionals — The recovery process is one that too many patients undertake without the aid of doctors and other healthcare professionals. Participating in cardiac rehab keeps patients connected to doctors and other therapy providers who ensure that the patients have access to information and interventions as soon as possible. People are more likely to receive the best care when they can easily access a doctor.
A post-hospital rehab program can prolong your life span and increase the quality of your daily life. If you’re interested in learning more or attending a rehabilitation program, please reach out so we can help.