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Cardiac Rehab FAQ

Use this Frequently Asked Questions guide to learn more about cardiac rehab at Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center!

How can I actively take part in my rehab?

  • Learn about your heart condition.
  • Learn what you can do to help your heart.
  • Follow the treatment plan.
  • Feel free to ask questions.
  • Report any symptoms or problems.

Who Else Can Help?

Family members and friends can make a difference. They may want to learn more about heart problems so their help can be even more valuable. For example, family members may have to learn to let you do things for yourself. Or they may want to learn about preparing heart-healthy meals. Your family and friends can give you emotional support as you adjust to a new, healthier lifestyle.

You may also want the support of other people who have heart disease. Ask the Cardiac Rehab staff about Avera McKennan’s Heart Health Support Group, and the Mended Heart’s Program.

How does Cardiac Rehab work?

Cardiac Rehab has two major parts:

  • Exercise training to help you learning how to exercise safely, strengthen your muscles and improve your stamina. Your exercise plan will be based on your individual ability, needs and interests.
  • Education, counseling and training to help you understand your heart condition and find ways to reduce your risk of future heart problems. The Cardiac Rehab team will help you learn how to cope with the stress of adjusting to a new lifestyle and to deal with your fears about the future.

Rehab takes place in groups. However, each patient’s plan is based on his or her specific risk factors and special needs.

This process helps you recognize and change unhealthy habits you may have and establish new, more healthy ones. It is important that you complete the recommended rehab plan.

What’s In It For Me?

The goals of Cardiac Rehab are different for each patient. In help set your personal goals, your health care team will look at your general health, your personal heart problem, your risks for future heart problems, your doctor’s recommendations, and, or course, your own preferences.

Cardiac Rehab can reduce your symptoms and your chances of having more heart problems. Other benefits include:

  • Exercise tones your muscles and improves your energy level and spirits. It helps both your heart and your body get stronger and work better. Exercise also can get you back to work and other activities faster.
  • A healthy diet can lower blood cholesterol, control weight, and help prevent or control high blood pressure and other problems such as diabetes. Plus, you will feel better and have more energy.
  • Cardiac Rehab can help you quit smoking. Kicking the habit means less risk of lung cancer, emphysema, and bronchitis, as well as risk of heart attack, stroke, and other heart and blood vessel problems. It means more energy, and it means better health for your loved ones.
  • You can learn to manage your stress instead of letting it manage you. You will feel better and improve your heart health.

Make a habit of the heart-healthy lifestyle you learn in Cardiac Rehab. Your life depends on it!

How Can I Get the Most Out of Cardiac Rehab?

Studies show that controlling your risk factors for heart disease can help you lead a healthier life. So make sure your Cardiac Rehab plan works for you. Here’s how:

  • Plan. Work with your health care team to design or change your services to meet your needs.
  • Communicate. Ask questions. If you don’t understand the answers, keep asking until you do. Report changes in your feelings or symptoms.
  • Take charge of your recovery. No one else can do it for you. Your new lifestyle is healthy for your heart, so stick with it—for life.

To gain more control over your Cardiac Rehab, remember your goals and keep important information where you can find it. You may want to have a special calendar just for your rehab activities.

Additional Information

If you have any questions, please call the Cardiac Rehab staff at 605-322-5375.