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Cardiac rehabilitation

Baptist Health Louisville's accredited Cardiac Rehabilitation program helps heart patients recover and maintain good health. The three-phase Cardiac Rehabilitation program concentrates on helping heart patients make necessary changes in their lifestyles and maintain healthy fitness levels once they have recovered from surgery, angioplasty or heart attack.

The road to fitness

Phase I is an education program for hospitalized patients who are recovering from a heart attack, coronary artery bypass surgery, valve surgery or congestive heart failure. After a period of recovery, Phase II of the rehabilitation program begins, which includes monitored exercise, education on a heart-healthy diet, heart disease risk factor management and counseling. Physician referral is required for participation in Phase II. Phase III helps patients maintain their new fitness level. People who have never had heart problems but are at high risk because of heredity or lifestyle are welcome to participate in the third phase of the program to help prevent problems before they occur.

Creating a heart-healthy lifestyle

Aerobic exercise, proper diet and controlling daily stress are important aspects of developing a heart-healthy lifestyle. Aerobic exercise strengthens the heart and helps it pump more effectively. To maintain a healthy heart, 20 to 30 minutes of exercise at least three times a week is recommended. The Cardiac Rehabilitation staff works with participants on individualized exercise programs. Patients are closely monitored during exercise sessions to make sure they are exercising at a comfortable pace. Treadmills, stationary bicycles, rowing machines and other exercise equipment are available as well as dressing rooms and showers.

A registered dietitian shows patients how to make heart-healthy food choices at home, in the grocery store and in restaurants. Since stress is a factor in 80 percent of all illnesses, the stress management seminar offered by Cardiac Rehabilitation staff helps patients learn techniques to reduce stress.

Support for matters of the heart

Making the changes necessary for a heart-healthy lifestyle requires the support of friends and family, in addition to sharing experiences with someone who understands exactly what you're going through. Phase I offers an education class for families of heart surgery patients. Phase II and Phase III families are invited to participate in all educational offerings.

For more information about any of the services available in the Cardiac Rehabilitation program, call (502) 897-8817.