Judy Myers, RN, Coordinator
Experiencing a cardiac episode can be life-altering, and in some cases can end in surgery. From valve repair or replacement to bypass and heart transplants, matters of the heart can take their toll on a patient’s mind and body. That’s where cardiac rehabilitation plays a big part in recovery.
Cardiac rehabilitation addresses both the physical and emotional healing of cardiac patients. Workouts typically range from 40 to 60 minutes and are supervised by professional staff. Patients wear a monitor that records heart rhythm. In addition, blood pressure and heart rate are closely monitored while they work out. The goal is to increase both endurance and intensity, which gives a patient a good idea of what activities they can safely do at home.
Depression is sometimes experienced after a cardiac event. Rehab not only encourages patients to get out and make a commitment to getting on with their lives; it also allows them the opportunity to talk with others who are going through the same experience.
Education is another big component to cardiac rehab. Patients are offered education courses that include reducing risk factors, making healthy food choices, reading food labels and visiting with the pharmacist. The goal of the combined education and exercise is to help patients realize they need to make “lifestyle” changes, not temporary “event changes.”
Learn more about cardiac rehabilitation  at St. Alexius Medical Center.