Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercise Programs

A cardiac rehabilitation program is a structured program of diet, lifestyle changes, exercises, and education that focus on improving the health of the heart after disease or heart related surgeries. It helps patients improve their overall physical condition and mental functioning. It also benefits patients by reducing future problems including heart attack. Cardiac rehabilitation exercises should be monitored by a physiologist or nurse to reduce the risk of injury or overworking the heart. Exercise programs are not always included. It does consist of monitoring depending on the specific heart or health problem of the patient. Combining all cardiac rehabilitation guidelines will improve the quality of life.

Cardiac rehabilitation exercises are used to help persons recover from heart transplants, heart failure, heart attack, angioplasty and stents. It is also beneficial to patients with congenital heart disease, arterial disease, or those that have had recent bypass surgery. Regular aerobic activity plays a large part in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and reduces the risk of these conditions developing and causing mortality. Physical activity that is performed regularly controls lipid levels, diabetes, obesity, blood pressure, and stress levels.

Beginning a cardiac exercise routine at a slow pace is important. Performing specific and simple exercises and working up to a full routine begins with simple movements of the arms. After a period of time, legs can be added. Repeating an exercise movement in small numbers a few times a day is the best method. Breathing is necessary and important while performing these exercises. Holding your breathe during exercise raises the blood pressure and puts extra strain on the heart. Small weights can be added to the routine after a few days of work. Start with simple arm moves like bending the arms at the chest and reaching for the sky or reaching out in front of the body. Arm circles are also appropriate for the first few days of the program and will help to increase blood flow and raise the heart rate slowly. Towards the end of the first week, marching in place or bending and twist at the waist is added. After a week, knee touches can be added and eventually knee bends or squats.

Exercise routines should also be accompanied by a heart healthy diet that is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium intake. Fruits and vegetables are good choices along with nuts, seeds, lentils, and tofu. Fresh juices and extra amounts of water are important to the diet and drinks like tea and coffee should be consumed in small amounts. Low fat dairy products and oils that are low in sodium or fat are acceptable along with sweets and starches that are unsalted or low in fat. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension or D.A.S.H. group offers a plan that includes all of the necessary components for a heart healthy diet. Any cardiac rehabilitation program that consists of the proper diet and exercise routine can reduce the risk for heart illness.