What is Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation?
Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation also known as Cardiac Rehab is a medically supervised program designed to improve heart function after heart problems or surgery. It includes monitored exercise sessions, visits with a dietitian on nutrition, and education on heart healthy living, medications, risk factors and lifestyle changes.
Why would I go to Cardiac Rehab?
Cardiac Rehab helps to strengthen your heart following a heart attack or surgery. It gives you tools you need to better manage your health including help controlling risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. Cardiac Rehab can lower the chances of having a 2nd heart attack or heart surgery and can reduce the overall risk of dying or having a future cardiac event.
How do I make an appointment?
A physician can refer you to cardiac rehab following a qualifying event including but not limited to a heart attack, stent, or open-heart surgery. Exercise sessions are 2-3 times/week for 12-36 sessions.
Patrick Bos, MS, CCRP, ACSM-CEP
Calista Purdum, RN BSN
What is Coronary Artery Disease?
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common type of heart disease. It is caused by the narrowing or hardening of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. This is due to the buildup of cholesterol (plaque) on the inside of the artery walls. This results in less blood flow and therefore less oxygen being able to reach the heart. This can lead to chest pain or a heart attack.
Treatment options include lifestyle modifications, medications, percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI or stent) and/or coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG).
Lifestyle Modifications include exercising regularly, following a heart healthy diet, quitting smoking, reducing stress and maintaining a healthy weight/ losing excess weight.
Regular Exercise: The AHA recommends exercising at a moderate intensity for 150 min/week which breaks down to 30 min at least 5 days/week. Exercise should include stretching, aerobic exercise, and strength training using resistance bands or light weights. A good way to know if you are exercising at the appropriate intensity is using the ‘talk test’. You should be able to carry on a conversation while you are exercising. If you can’t talk you might be working too hard, but if you can sing, you are probably exercising at too easy of a pace.
Heart Healthy Diet: This includes low fat proteins such as lean meat, fish, poultry and low fat dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as whole grain breads and pasta, high fiber cereal, and brown rice. Healthy fats include olive or canola oil, nuts, and seeds. Foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol, and salt need to be limited or avoided.
Quit Smoking: Smoking causes blood vessels to constrict or narrow which makes your heart have to work harder. It can also trigger irregular heart rhythm or increased blood pressure. The chemicals can also cause plaque to build up called atherosclerosis. Nicotine replacement therapy is one way to quit smoking. Individuals can also call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. It is important to develop a “quit plan” to increase chances of success in quitting smoking. Cardiac rehab staff can help individuals develop this plan.
Reduce Stress: Stress can raise your blood pressure and lead to unhealthy lifestyle behaviors such as drinking, smoking, or overeating. Try relaxation techniques which can include deep breathing, exercise, meditation, yoga, or music/art therapy. Individuals may also need to talk to their doctor or mental health provider for counseling or for medications that can help.
Healthy Weight Management: Things that can be done to maintain a healthy weight include being physically active, following a healthy diet, reducing calories if needed, getting plenty of sleep and managing stress.
Medications: Medications are often needed to help treat CAD. Medications can help to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of blood clots for those individuals with heart disease.
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) is when the force of the blood pushing against the walls of the blood vessels is higher than normal. It can develop over time and increases individuals risks of heart attack and stroke. Lack of exercise, those individuals with diabetes and those who are overweight have an increased risk of developing it. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. Ways that individuals can manage high blood pressure include not smoking, eating a heart healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress and exercising a minimum of 150 min/week.
Diabetes and Heart Disease: Diabetes is when your body has trouble using a sugar called glucose for energy. The result is a high sugar level in your blood. You are twice as likely to develop heart disease if you have diabetes. Having high blood sugar can damage the blood vessels and nerves that control your heart. Having diabetes can also make high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol more dangerous. Individuals need to focus on managing their blood sugar level to maintain heart health.
Meet Our Providers
Patrick Bos, MS
My goal is to help educate the community on chronic disease.
Using empathy, compassion, knowledge, and respect, I will provide physical, spiritual, and emotional care for each patient to the best of my ability.