Just three years ago, Robin Williams, nationally known comedian and actor, suffered a major heart scare. In January 2000, Late Night TV Host David Letterman underwent emergency multiple-bypass heart surgery. Luckily, both celebrities were able to resume their active schedules and often talk about how their cardiac events changed their lives.
While celebrities like Williams and Letterman made headlines with their heart-related emergencies, what often goes unreported is the hard work that takes place in cardiac rehabilitation. It's not unusual for people who have had heart attacks, coronary bypasses, valve repairs or replacements or other heart procedures to end up having cardiac rehabilitation.
According to the American Heart Association, a supervised Cardiac Rehabilitation program can:
- Introduce regular physical activity. This helps with a patient's physical recovery and can "improve energy levels and lift spirits." It also may decrease the chance of future heart problems.
- Change is the right path. To help avoid a second heart event, most cardiac patients must make changes. Those include following a heart-healthy diet, lowering blood pressure, stress or cholesterol levels, losing weight or quitting smoking. Cardiac rehabilitation professionals can help you communicate better with your cardiac care team.
So who exactly makes up your cardiac care team?
At UnityPoint Health - Des Moines, our comprehensive rehabilitation program
is developed by health experts from several disciplines working together. Your team spans doctors, nurses, exercise specialists, dieticians, pharmacists, and psychology and counseling professionals. We want to help you return to your optimum level of health.
If you're uncertain whether a cardiac rehabilitation program is beneficial, just consider these facts:
- Cardiac rehab can reduce the risk of future heart problems.
- It can help you live a longer, healthier and more productive life.
- You can have professional guidance to develop an appropriate exercise plan.
- Your strength and confidence can improve following a heart event.
It's important to consider participating in a cardiac rehabilitation program
to help you adjust to a new lifestyle and deal with fears about the future. Heart disease isn't a laughing matter nor is your post-surgery rehab.