Importance of Cardiac Rehabilitation

Organization: Author:
Joanne Morrison, RN, Manager, Cardiac Rehabilitation, MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute, Long Beach Memorial

After undergoing heart surgery or suffering from a heart attack, or heart failure, your physician may prescribe a cardiac rehabilitation program for you. Cardiac rehabilitation, or cardiac rehab, is a medically supervised program that helps improve your cardiovascular health. Attending a cardiac rehab program is proven to significantly reduce your chance of having another cardiac event or requiring another procedure.

At the MemorialCare Heart & Vascular Institute (MHVI) at Long Beach Memorial, cardiac rehab is a comprehensive program designed to help those with heart conditions resume, develop and/or maintain an active, heart-healthy lifestyle. MHVI’s program is certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), which means that the program outcomes meet national standards.

By enrolling in MHVI’s cardiac rehab program, you will be guided through a comprehensive program designed to help you progress through your recovery and develop a heart-healthy lifestyle, while modifying your cardiovascular disease risk factors. The program consists of nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian, supervised exercise and conditioning, risk factor modification, education and a support group.

The cardiac rehab programming consists of three phases:

  • Phase I: The initial phase begins while you are still in the hospital. If ordered by your physician, a cardiac rehab team member will visit you and help you start a walking program, as well as give provide education necessary to continue your recovery at home or during Phase II.
  • Phase II: This second phase takes place in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Gym and is an outpatient service. During each exercise session, your heart beat will be monitored with our ECG telemetry system while professionals prescribe an exercise routine.
  • Phase III: This is our outpatient maintenance program. It is an optional self-paid program that is available for those who complete Phase II.

Cardiac rehab is about improving your current quality of life. Major health events, like a heart attack or heart surgery, can have a profound impact on your physical and psychological well-being even after your recovery in the hospital. When your heart is healthy, your overall health improves. Attending a cardiac rehab program can help you get back to your everyday life.

For more information about Long Beach Memorial’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, please call (562) 933-9326.

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