The cardiac rehabilitation program is designed to help an individual with heart disease return to an optimal level of physical, emotional, social and vocational well-being. A physician referral is needed prior to enrolling in the program.
Participants include individuals that have experienced the following:
- Heart Attack
- Coronary artery bypass surgery
- Angina controlled by medical therapy
- Congestive heart failure
- Coronary artery procedures (stenting, TLA, arthrectomy)
- Potential of developing a cardiac condition
Three Phase Progam
- Phase I (Recovery stage) Begins while you are a patient at the hospital. It prepares you for discharge by slowly progressing your activity level from passive to active exercise. The focus is on activities of daily life.
- Phase II (Healing period) Begins after discharge and a physician referral. Your program is a prescription, specifically designed to help your progression to cardiovascular fitness. Exercise sessions take place in the Cardiac Wellness Center located on the first floor of Fort Memorial Hospital. Your exercise program is supervised and your blood pressure, heart rate, and heart rhythm are monitored. A key component of Phase II is education on lifestyle changes.
- Phase III (Maintenance period) Begins after completion of Phase II. Participants in Phase III come in for regular, monitored exercise sessions in the Cardiac Wellness Center on the first floor of Fort Memorial Hospital. Your exercise program is supervised and your blood pressure, heart rate, and heart rhythm are monitored.
- Phase III (Conditioning phase) An exercise program with new goals is developed. The responsibility of the program is that of the participant. The goal is to make conscious lifestyle changes. This phase is open to anyone with a physician’s referral to exercise. It is usually a self-pay program.
Your Rehab Program
Your cardiac rehab program may start while you’re in the hospital. After you leave the hospital, you may go to a facility for rehab classes. You’ll regain some strength and learn how to exercise safely. Once you do that, your doctor may prescribe an exercise program for you to do at a gym or at home.
As an Inpatient
You may start light exercise within 2 days of entering the hospital.
As an Outpatient
As early as 1–2 weeks after leaving the hospital, you can join a supervised rehab program.
- Exercises will be prescribed to help you build strength and movement. The first month will most likely include easier exercises. Over time, you’ll exercise harder to improve your endurance.
- Your heart and blood pressure may be monitored as you work.
Maintain the Benefits to Your Health
Don’t stop once you’ve finished your program! Make what you learned in rehab a regular part of your life. Here are some tips:
- Work out at home or at a gym. Try renting a new workout video each week. Take an exercise class. Find something that keeps you interested.
- Ask family and friends to help you stay motivated.
- Make other lifestyle changes to improve your heart and overall health. Quit smoking. Make changes to lower your stress. Lose excess weight. And lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.
The Cardiac Rehab staff includes a medical director, registered nurses, and exercise physiologists. The staff works in conjunction with Cardiac Evaluation and Respiratory Therapy.
For more information, contact the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Department (920) 568-5349 or toll-free 1-800-421-4677 ext. 5349.