Cardiac rehab program gives patients tools to lead heart-healthy lives
For anyone who has experienced a heart attack, heart surgery or any cardiac-related event, the days and weeks following can be stressful for the patient and their loved ones. Texas Health Resources’ offers cardiac rehabilitation programs to teach patients heart-healthy activities to incorporate into their daily lives while helping to reduce the risk of future heart problems.
Cardiac rehabilitation is designed to meet the specific needs of patients who have experience a cardiovascular event. The program includes important elements such as exercise, education, dieting, and lifestyle modifications aiming to:
• Control weight and cholesterol levels
• Lessen the chance of recurring heart disease
• Develop ways to cope with stressful situations such as learning relaxation techniques
• Reduce dependency on medications
• Increase energy and exercise endurance
• Improve quality of life
• Foster new friendships and relationships with peers
The program is led by physicians and includes a team of nurses, exercise physiologist, physical therapists, occupational therapists and fitness specialist with support from registered dietitians, pharmacists and chaplains. And the comprehensive team would not be complete without the element of peer support, an important part of the program according to Lindsay Alidina, cardiac rehabilitation program coordinator at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano.
“Socialization is a secret ingredient to the program that often goes unrecognized,” says Lindsay. She says that making new friends and sharing experiences helps many people transform their lives in a healthy way.
A Real Life Journey to Success
A transformed life is exactly what Bob Robichaud got after entering Texas Health Plano’s cardiac rehabilitation program last January. The 66-year-old U.S. Navy veteran had a wake-up call when he was diagnosed with a blockage in one of his arteries.
After leaving the Navy, a high-stress corporate job caused him to gain weight, not exercise, develop high blood pressure and pop antacids frequently. He had not seen a doctor in years and his weight had ballooned to more than 300 pounds. Physicians on the medical staff at Texas Health Plano successfully implanted a cardiac stent to open Bob’s arteries and prescribed cardiac rehabilitation.
Bob’s specialized cardiac rehabilitation program involved a variety of things which created a positive scenario for a complete lifestyle change. He lost an incredible amount of weight by exercising and dietary changes. Bob’s program involved cardiovascular and strength training exercises, such as treadmill walking and weight lifting, as well as nutrition advice from a registered dietitian. Bob had developed Type 2 diabetes, so he attended a class to learn how to check his blood sugar and incorporate healthy eating habits.
“Cardiac rehabilitation has given me the motivation to lose weight through exercise and diet, enabling me to spend more quality time with my grandchildren,” says Bob.
For more information about cardiac rehabilitation programs at Texas Health Resources, visit www.TexasHealth.org/Cardiac-Rehab.