What Are the Benefits and Risks of Cardiac Rehabilitation?
· Reduce your overall risk of dying, the risk of future heart problems, and the risk of dying from a heart attack.
· Decrease pain and the need for medicines to treat heart or chest pain.
· Lessen the chance that you'll have to go back to the hospital or emergency room for a heart problem.
· Improve your overall health by reducing your risk factors for heart problems
· Improve your quality of life and make it easier for you to work, take part in social activities, and exercise.
Going to cardiac rehab regularly also can reduce stress, improve your ability to move around, and help you stay independent.
Members of the rehab team are trained and have experience teaching people who have heart problems how to exercise.
Your rehab team will watch you to make sure you're safe. They'll check your blood pressure several times during your exercise training. They also may use an EKG(electrocardiogram) to see how your heart reacts and adapts to exercise. After some training, most people learn to exercise safely at home.
Our program is certified by the American Association of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
"In December, 2010, I had open-heart surgery at Pinnacle Health, Dr. Mumtaz, of the Pinnacle Health Cardiovascular group, performed the surgery which involved replacement of my aortic valve with a cow valve, repair of my mitral valve which was leaking badly, plus two bypasses. The care was exceptional. After returning home I spent a month or so recuperating and doing very light exercises.
After my 40-day checkup Dr. Mumtaz gave me the go-ahead for Cardiac Rehab. So I was signed up with FCMC's I2-week program (three sessions per week) which is headed up by Kim Harnish and Patti Hess. I began in February 2011. During the first session Kim evaluated my performance levels in various exercises and recorded my BP (blood pressures) after each one; this evaluation served as a baseline for me.
Then began the exercises-three minutes on eight types of apparatus-at very low stress levels, while wired up to a heart monitor. Between the eight exercises was a cool-down period, in which I was to drink water and walk slowly around the room.
After the first session I really felt wiped-out, but with each successive session my performance levels, strength and stamina gradually increased. Eventually the duration of each exercise was increased from three, to four, then to five, and eventually to six minutes. I particularly remember one fine morning Kim, grinning, announced, "All right, Jim, this morning, no cool-down period between exercises." I asked her why that was, and she replied that, "We want to establish that when you finish the program you will be able to exercise or work relatively hard for 48 minutes without ill effects" (I really missed that cool-down period-but I survived!)A permanent record is kept of each patient's heart's performance and BP for each session which provides his/her cardiologist with a detailed progress/performance report. Kim and Patti are terrific individuals and make a great team; they're friendly and helpful while being true professionals. The interaction with other patients and former patients who continue to use the facility is really comforting and encouraging and therapeutic, as well. All in all, it's a wonderful program, and it's my opinion that any post-heart-attack, post-surgery or post-stenting heart patient who doesn't take advantage of the program is short-changing himself or herself.
As a matter of fact, I still continue to use the facility as part of the Silver Sneakers program for Seniors and have convinced my wife to join me. (There's also the Community Wellness program for non-Seniors.) We've met some wonderful folks and made some close friends during our sessions. Why not join us?”