What’s the most important muscle in your body? The biceps? Your hamstrings? While these can help you move, the number one muscle in your body is your heart. It provides oxygen and nutrients to your body, and keeps blood flowing to other vital organs. You can’t live without it!
About 735,000 Americans have a heart attack in any given year. If you’ve experienced a heart attack or heart failure, or have had surgery such as angioplasty or cardiac bypass, your heart has experienced major trauma. When you pull a muscle, your doctor may prescribe bed rest, exercise or rehabilitative therapy, depending on the injury. Similarly, when your heart suffers an injury or disease, cardiac therapy may be recommended.
What is cardiac therapy?
Cardiac therapy, also called cardiac rehabilitation, is an active practice that patients can do to improve their cardiovascular health. According to the American Heart Association, it has three major components: education, exercise and counseling. Education focuses on learning how to live more healthfully. This can include dietary changes, managing your weight, quitting smoking and other small changes that can lessen your risk of heart disease and heart attack. Exercise programs can help strengthen the heart, while counseling helps patients reduce everyday stressors that may contribute to heart disease.
Who is eligible?
There are no age limits or special requirements for cardiac therapy. Anyone who has experienced a heart attack, or who suffers from heart disease or failure, may be eligible. Whether you’ve been recently diagnosed, or have already had a heart attack or cardiac surgery, this form of rehabilitative therapy can help reduce your risk factors. You can start cardiac therapy as soon as your doctor says it is safe.
Where do I go?
Cardiac therapy may be provided by a post-acute care center such as Santé. Our cardiac rehab program focuses on safe ways to improve your heart health and increase your daily exercise level. Santé’s caring and well-trained cardiac therapists can design a personalized rehab program that takes your individual needs into account. These programs are designed to boost mobility and make the activities of daily living easier. If you prefer to work on your heart health in the comfort of your own home, Santé Home Health and Rehabilitation offers specialized programming for sufferers of COPD, congestive heart failure and other cardiac conditions. Skilled nurses can monitor and assess your heart, while physical therapists work with you to design a daily exercise plan and improve mobility.
The next step
As with any rehab program, consult with your doctor before entering cardiac therapy. If you’re considering inpatient treatment at one of Santé’s five Arizona facilities or home health care with us, our physicians can also work with you to determine the best rehabilitation program for your condition. Contact us today at 480-563-2402 or visit us online to get started on the road to better heart health!