Cardiac rehabilitation exercise programs are safe and helpful. Exercise helps you return to your normal life. But
there is a small risk of complications.1
If you have a health problem that makes exercise unsafe, your rehab will not include an exercise program. These health problems include:
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
Safety and your rehab team
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.
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
exercise. 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.
Watch for symptoms
exercise, be sure that you are aware of signs and symptoms that mean
that you should stop exercising and contact your doctor.
Your ability to identify how your body is responding to
exercise and what physical conditions are normal is necessary for your
rehabilitation. It is important that you monitor specific physical information
to be aware not only of your improvement but also of possible complications. If
you have any other physical or medical concerns such as the flu,
backache, or knee pain, it is best that you put off exercising until the
problem passes. You should seek medical advice if it does not.
Your rehab team might ask you to be aware of:
- How you feel.
- Your heart rate.
- Your blood pressure.