Cardiac Rehabilitation - Risks
After having a heart attack or surgery or
discovering you have heart disease, you may be afraid to exercise or be active.
You may worry that exercise will cause another heart attack or that you aren't
strong enough for a cardiac rehab program. It may ease your fears to know that
as you begin your rehab, your doctor will monitor your activity closely and
health professionals will be on hand to deal with any problems you may have.
Your rehab team will tailor all of your exercises specifically for you, based
on your medical condition and overall health. All cardiac rehab begins slowly
at a comfortable pace and may be as gentle as walking on a treadmill.
If you are worried or afraid to be active again, talk to your doctor.
Exercise and activity can greatly improve the quality of your life.
But exercise may not be safe for some people. You may not be able to
participate in the exercise portion of cardiac rehab if you have:
Even if you can't exercise or be active, you will benefit
from other parts of a cardiac rehab program. For example, you can get help with
quitting smoking and reducing stress, and you can get advice on how to eat a
heart-healthy diet. This type of education can lower the risk of heart-related
Medicines may also affect
your ability to participate in cardiac rehab. Some
prescribed medicines can change your heart rate, blood pressure, and overall
ability to exercise. For example, antidepressants may increase your heart rate
and decrease your blood pressure at rest and during exercise. Tell your doctor
and other health professionals on your rehab team about all of the medicines
you are taking, especially if they cause any side effects during