One of my cardiac rehab patients once told me, “If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” While we cannot choose our family, and we have no control over the risk factors we may inherit for cardiovascular diseases, there are many ways in which we can take better care of ourselves. No one can change heredity, but we can all take our prescribed medications, abstain from tobacco and caffeine, increase activity levels, and work hard to lose weight, lower cholesterol, and control diabetes.
While prevention is the ultimate goal, the American Heart Association states that one in three American adults suffers from some type of cardiovascular disease. We have learned that when a cardiac event is not prevented, only thirty percent of those patients who are eligible for cardiac rehab are getting enrolled in the program. The AHA advises physicians to aggressively encourage patients to exercise and follow cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention to prevent recurrent heart attacks. Patients only need a doctor’s written prescription to get started. Anyone who has suffered from heart attack, angina, bypass surgery, stent placement, heart valve repair/replacement, or a heart/lung transplant is eligible for cardiac rehab.
Cardiac rehab patients are allowed a safe environment for physical activity in which they are in control of the intensity and duration of their workouts. Patients are not pushed to stress their hearts or bodies beyond what they wish to do. There are no strict requirements, only general guidelines that are modified to meet each patient’s need. The monitored activity along with peer support from other patients with a similar background provides an experience that cannot be duplicated in your average gym.
Pershing Memorial Hospital is dedicated to providing healthcare services for our local community. Cardiac Rehab is a service vital to improving the quality of life for our local heart patients.
My hope is that you and I will never need cardiac rehab. I hope we all take the time to take better care of ourselves and make exercise a priority in our daily lives. John Wooden said, “If you do not have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” If you are unable to prevent a cardiac event, and you need to have a do over, please take comfort in the knowledge that there is a program to help with the recuperation process. Talk to your doctor to find out how Cardiac Rehab can help in your recovery. We would like to thank all of our patients, past and present, for allowing us to participate in meeting your healthcare needs. Your heart matters at Pershing Cardiac Rehab.