Author: Ng Peng Hock
Cardiac rehabilitation is an integral part of the cardiovascular continuum. Secondary prevention is extremely essential as this prevents a recurrence or further complications such as heart failure after a heart attack. However, only few patients who are on their way to recover from heart attack or stroke are willing to join the cardiac rehabilitation program. This is because most of these patients are faced with many myths and misconception. The worse scenario is that many people still feel that there is a magic cure by depending on pills and potions recommended by friends.
Most people think that their bodies will be too weak after surgery so the best thing is to rest as much as possible. But the truth is that exercise is extremely important after surgery. During the cardiac rehabilitation program in the hospital, an exercise program will be planned according to one's needs. The physiotherapist will explain and introduce the types of exercises that can be performed at home and at work. Exercising will help patients lose weight, lower blood pressure, and prevent type-2 diabetes.
It has been told that women and young people do not have to worry about heart disease and stroke; it is a man's problem and also only affects the elderly. This is definitely not true. Heart disease is on the increase in women and young people. A study found that young patients seemed to gain the most from a cardiac rehabilitation program which consists of group exercises and classes giving advice and reassurance. Heart disease which strikes people in later years often has its beginning in childhood and youth and it can strike both men and women and they are equally at risk.
For people with genes of heart disease may think that because of the family history, no matter how many times they go for rehabilitation, it is not going to help to prevent another heart attack. However, the actual fact is that major part of preventing second heart attack is through cardiac rehabilitation. People do have some control over their health through their lifestyle, the smoke-free environment they live in, how they exercise and what they eat. Their genes will affect only 25 to 30 percent of their ageing process.
Since rehabilitation program also deals with diet and exercise, people can just eat healthy and exercise three times a week so that they save the hassle to go for rehabilitation classes. In reality, people may look fit physically without being aware that they could be over-stressing their heart. The cardiac rehabilitation classes recommend to the patients the appropriate type of exercises that match the condition of their heart and their medical history and they monitor how well the patients are doing. The nutrition counseling, health education talks and other rehabilitative services will also provide necessary knowledge and support to the patients' recovery.
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