Cardiac Rehabilitation Week

Every 14th-20th of February, attention is drawn to the role and benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation around the world. In this blog post, we will explore what CR is, what the expectations are and the risks plus benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation:

What’s Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR)?

According to WHO, it is the sum of activities and intervention required to ensure the best possible physical, mental and social conditions so that patients with chronic or post-acute cardiovascular disease may, by their own efforts, preserve or resume their proper place in society and lead an active life. The program is established to help you improve your health and recover from a heart attack and other forms of heart diseases.

Cardiac rehabilitation involves lifestyle education, physical activities and emotional supports and the primary goals of CR are to help in reducing the risk of heart problems in future, prevent conditions from getting worse and improve overall health.

What are the expectations in Cardiac Rehabilitation?

During CR, a team of health care experts, including but not limited to Cardiologists, Nurses and Educators, Dietician and Exercise specialist are on ground to ensure that the hazards caused by heart diseases are greatly minimized. Some of the things that are done for Cardiac Rehabilitation include:

  • MEDICAL EVALUATION: An evaluation is being performed to monitor your general health and keep track of your progress.
  • PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES: This helps to improve your cardiovascular fitness; Low impact activities will be suggested such as Walking, Jogging. Yoga has also been proven to be beneficial to cardiac health. All of these are taken care of by the exercise specialist.
  • LIFESTYLE EDUCATION:  this includes support and passing of information on making healthy lifestyle decisions such as exercising regularly, quitting smoking and eating a heart-healthy diet.
  • SUPPORT: Adjusting to a new habit might be tough and too demanding hence, counselling is essential in order to guide and motivate you.

Are there risks associated with Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation is not appropriate for everyone who has heart diseases and this is why medical evaluation is the first step taken in order to review your medical history.

What are the reasons for Cardiac Rehabilitation?

CR is for people with many forms of heart diseases such as Heart attack, Coronary heart diseases, Chest pain, Certain congenital heart diseases and Pulmonary hypertension, etc.

Benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation

There are a lot of benefits that are gotten when CR is performed on a weak heart. With proper steps and the needed specialists in place, people with heart issues might proceed to live better and healthier lives. Some of the known and confirmed benefits of CR are:

  1. It helps to strengthen the heart and body after a heart attack.
  2. It helps in relieving symptoms of heart problems, such as chest pain.
  3. It helps in building healthier habits such as getting more physical activity, quitting smoking, and eating a heart-healthy diet. A nutritionist or dietitian may work with you to help you limit foods with unhealthy fats and eat more fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
  4. It reduces stress.
  5. It Improves mood- people are more likely to feel depressed after a heart attack but cardiac rehabilitation can help prevent or lessen depression.
  6. It helps in the increase of energy and strength to make daily activities like carrying stuff and climbing stairs easier.
  7. It prevents future illness and death from heart disease.

Please note that it might be very difficult to start a CR, but it is very beneficial as it prevents heart diseases/failure, and it helps to build life and improve quality of living. It is also important to note that even after CR has been successfully completed on a patient, such a person has to keep up with the healthy lifestyle that had been adopted.


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