Cardiac rehabilitation is an exercise program provided for those dealing with heart disease or those that may have undergone any type of cardiac surgery. This structured and supervised program aims to return patients to optimal fitness levels over a certain period of time. Exercise after any type of cardiac event is crucial to helping build strength in the heart muscle. However, once graduating from this program, many do not continue to exercise which can lead to increased risk of heart disease or cardiac arrest.
Remember, one of the most valuable benefits of cardiac rehabilitation is often an improvement in your overall quality of life. By sticking to your cardio rehab program, you should come out of the program feeling even better than before you had a heart condition or had heart surgery.
3 TIPS TO MAINTAINING EXERCISE
1. Join a gym
As easy as it sounds, joining a gym can sometimes be the hardest step. When we picture a gym, we usually think of the really ‘fit’ individuals who work so hard that they are drenched in sweat. For many, that can seem intimidating. Do your research beforehand: find some gyms in your area, take a tour of each, and ask questions to ensure you would feel comfortable in the environment.
Wellness centers, like HealthQuest, are a great place to look for exercising post-cardiac rehab based on the demographic they serve and the atmosphere within. They often offer a variety of classes and programs that can help keep your workouts from being the same every time.
2. Build a routine
Having a set schedule of when you plan to go to the gym can be very beneficial. This helps to avoid the time barrier that many struggle with when starting an exercise program. Here are a few suggestions. Block off time on your calendar at work, or you can even set a reminder on your phone to exercise. Starting your day with a specific amount of time set aside will help you stay committed to your schedule rather than trying to squeeze in a session at the last minute.
3. Work in a group or with a personal trainer
It can be challenging to transition from exercising under supervision in cardiac rehab to exercising on your own. Personal trainers are a great tool that can be utilized at various types of fitness facilities. Trainers can help you become familiar with equipment, design specific workout routines, and monitor your heart rate and blood pressure. A group setting is also a great way to hold yourself accountable while exercising.
HealthQuest Fitness and Wellness Center offers the Physician Referred Exercise Program (P.R.E.P.) which is designed to provide structured exercise with qualified supervision. It is based on an individual’s abilities and fitness levels with the goal of helping them reach their personal goals with a certified personal trainer. Click here for more information or call 919-938-7581.
This blog post was written by Ashley Carroll, Health & Wellness Specialist at HealthQuest Fitness & Wellness Center. HealthQuest, located in the Johnston Medical Mall, is a hospital-affiliated fitness and wellness center with medically based programs that will improve your health and your lifestyle. Find out more at www.johnstonhealth.org/healthquest or call 919-938-7581.