The Vital Role of Cardiac Rehabilitation After a Heart Attack

The Vital Role of Cardiac Rehabilitation After a Heart Attack

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a heart attack. For about 605,000 patients, it’s the first heart attack, but about 200,000 people experience a recurrent heart attack. 

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, but just because you or your loved one had a heart attack doesn’t mean it’s inevitable that you’ll suffer another one or, worse yet, die as a result. You can make life changes that help you control your risk factors.

Because February is American Heart Month, the team at Cardio Metabolic Institute takes a look this month at the important role cardiac rehabilitation plays in your journey back to living a full and productive life after a heart attack

What is cardiac rehabilitation?

Heart attack. Despite being two simple words put together, they’re anything but simple. Understanding the medical implications can be difficult enough, but the emotional stress and the questions just seem to pile on. Will you have another heart attack tomorrow, next week, next year? Will you survive it? Will you get to see your kids grow up?

The whole experience may leave you thinking that your body betrayed you and that your life is out of your control. While it’s natural to feel that way — and you can’t do anything about the heart attack that already happened — you have control over what happens next. That’s where cardiac rehabilitation comes in.

Essentially, cardiac rehabilitation puts you back in the driver’s seat by providing a road map to recovery and learning to live with your heart condition by making lifestyle changes to lower your risk for future cardiac issues. This medically supervised, team-based wellness program helps patients who have experienced a heart attack or heart surgery, have chronic stable angina, or have undergone heart valve repair. 

A multi-disciplinary approach to lifestyle changes

Cardiac rehabilitation operates on the premise that in order to truly heal and get back to living a full life, changes typically need to occur in three main areas of your life: fitness and exercise, nutrition, and stress. Lifestyle tweaks in these areas may seem like a tall order, but you don’t have to go it alone. 

In fact, you’ll have a multi-disciplinary team of medical professionals advising, monitoring and supporting you and your family every step of the way. At Cardio Metabolic Institute, you can access our cardiac rehabilitation program at our Somerset, New Jersey, location, where you’ll work with interventional cardiologist Dr. Parthiv Amin or Dr. Dinesh Singal.

The issues that tend to contribute to a heart attack and heart disease — like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, poor diet, and being overweight — are things that you can change to put you on a heart-healthy trajectory. Our team uses blood tests and stress tests as well as ECG-monitored fitness sessions to track your progress to a healthier you. 

We’re also New Jersey’s only Pritikin Certified Intensive Cardiac Rehab™ center, so you can benefit from the Pritikin Program and the Pritikin Eating Plan.

A heart-healthy plan dialed in just for you

Another important aspect of cardiac rehab at Cardio Metabolic Institute is that it doesn’t provide a cookie-cutter program for healing and recovery. Dr. Amin creates every program and treatment plan for each patient’s unique set of lifestyle parameters — such as your activity and fitness levels, what you eat, and how you handle stress. 

As you would expect, these lifestyle parameters may vary greatly from patient to patient, requiring our team to highly customize each cardiac rehabilitation program.

Preventing future issues

As daunting as it may seem to reimagine a new heart-healthy life courtesy of intensive cardiac rehabilitation, the ultimate payoff is huge. By learning and practicing healthier habits, you can prevent future heart attacks or coronary events. 

Once you tackle things like a poor diet or not getting enough exercise and replacing them with a new healthier lifestyle, you can slow, stabilize, or in some cases even reverse the progression of your heart condition.

In fact, clinical studies on cardiac rehabilitation report reduced mortality rates by more than 50% compared with patients who don’t pursue cardiac rehabilitation. Similarly, hospital readmissions for all causes are reduced by 25%.  

If you’ve suffered a heart attack or coronary event and want to learn more about cardiac rehabilitation, contact Cardio Metabolic Institute at our Somerset location. Click the “Book online” button or call us today.

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