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    Cardiac Rehabilitation - Topic Overview

    What happens in cardiac rehab?

    In cardiac rehab, you will learn how to:

    Exercise is a big part of cardiac rehab. So before you get started, you will have a full checkup, which may include tests such as an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) and a "stress test" (exercise electrocardiogram). These tests show how well your heart is working. They will help your team design an exercise program that is safe for you.

    At first your rehab team will keep a close watch on how exercise affects your heart. As you get stronger, you will learn how to check your own heart rate when you exercise. By the end of rehab, you will be ready to continue an exercise program on your own.

    What are the benefits of cardiac rehab?

    Starting cardiac rehab after a heart attack can lower your chance of dying from heart disease and can help you stay out of the hospital. It may reduce your need for medicine.

    Cardiac rehab may also help you to:

    • Have better overall health.
    • Lose weight or keep weight off.
    • Feel less depressed and more hopeful.
    • Have more energy and feel better about yourself.

    Changing old habits is hard. But in cardiac rehab, you get the support of experts who can help you make new healthy habits. And meeting other people who are in cardiac rehab can help you know that you're not alone.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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