Remarkably, every year 805,000 Americans have a heart attack. For a vast majority of them — 605,000 — the heart attack is their first, but for 200,000 of them, the event is a repeat nightmare.
If you or someone you love is part of this not-so-exclusive club, you know that the days and weeks following a cardiovascular event are fraught with stress, fear and anxiety. There are seemingly endless questions about the future. So where do you go from here? Will you have another heart attack? Will you get to watch your children and grandchildren grow up?
The good news, say the experts at Cardio Metabolic Institute’s Pritikin Certified Intensive Cardiac Rehab™ center, is that the future is bright for a majority of the people who have heart problems. In this blog, our team unpacks the important role exercise plays in rewriting your health story for a long, productive life.
Exercise may prevent a second heart event
Let’s start this conversation by addressing the elephant in the room. Is it really safe to exercise if you have a heart problem? After all, does it make sense to stress your heart if you have heart problems?
Yes. Committing to being active may actually save your life.
According to research on heart attack survivors, patients who self-identified as being constantly active lowered their risk of dying by 71%. For many people who suffer a cardiac event, the trauma serves as a wake-up call to get them on track by addressing poor lifestyle issues that stand in the way of living a full, heart-healthy life.
Cardiac rehabilitation is a great first step
If you’ve been hospitalized for a heart issue, you know that the hospital staff will get you up and moving around as soon as possible — and for good reason. Getting regular exercise is particularly important when you have heart issues.
But once you go home, how do you know where to start? How much exercise should you do and at what intensity level? You don’t have to go it alone. Think cardiac rehabilitation with our team.
Typically once you’re discharged from the hospital, your doctor refers you to a cardiac rehabilitation program. This is essentially a medically directed multidisciplinary wellness program that guides you through the ultimate life re-do.
Through the program, you learn how to cast off bad habits and embark on a journey to a heart-healthy lifestyle. A personalized treatment plan addresses each patient’s unique circumstances, but each cardiac rehabilitation program focuses on three key areas: fitness and exercise, nutrition, and stress reduction counseling.
Provides a prescription for safe heart-healthy exercise
At Cardio Metabolic Institute, our medical and professional team does comprehensive exercise regimen planning to define the types of exercise, how long you should do them, and at what intensity level. The fitness and exercise portion of our cardiac rehabilitation program includes ECG-monitored sessions for strength training, cardiovascular conditioning, and flexibility.
Rest assured whether you exercised before your cardiac event or you’re new to regular exercise, our team walks you through how to safely incorporate exercise into a heart-healthy new life. We want to ensure that you feel comfortable to exercise whether you’re at our office or at home.
Increased survival rates and better quality of life
At this point, the mere thought of replacing habits like binge-watching your favorite television show instead of walking the dog may seem a bit daunting. Our caring medical and professional team understands that change is never easy, but we also know that the effort will be well worth it.
According to research, patients who participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program not only were less likely to be hospitalized or die from a future heart event than those who don’t attend cardiac rehabilitation, but they also enjoyed a better quality of life.
And as if that isn’t enough, the results of your hard work in kicking bad health habits to the curb typically result in improved cholesterol and blood pressure levels, weight loss, and better stress management as well as a lower risk of depression.
If you’re suffering cardiac problems or you’ve had a heart attack and want to learn more about cardiac rehabilitation and heart-healthy exercise, schedule a consultation at Cardio Metabolic Institute in Somerset, Monroe Township, Edison, or East Brunswick, New Jersey. Click or call today for an appointment at the office nearest you.