Cardiovascular diseases are disorders of an individual’s heart and blood vessels. These include coronary heart disease which affects the blood vessels that supplies blood to the heart, cerebrovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease and deep vein thrombosis (World Health Organization, 2016).
Build up of fatty deposits in the blood vessels can lead to blockages that prevent blood flow to reach the heart or the brain resulting in heart attacks or strokes. Bleeding from the blood vessels and blood clots can also lead to strokes (hemorrhagic).
Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program for individuals who have had heart conditions that require resting the heart, such as after a heart attack or healing after open-heart surgeries.
Cardiac rehabilitation services are often available for patients at various levels of interventions. The goals for cardiac rehabilitation include improving heart functions, increasing cardiac conditioning, reducing cardiac risk factors and reduction of disability (Bartels, n.d.). Through patient education, modification of behavior and exercise, the rehabilitation program may allow a person to return to their normal daily activities without significant symptoms of their heart disease (Bartels, n.d.). It also involves education in exercise techniques and doing it safely while you increase your physical activity.
Instructions for lifestyle changes and healthy living to address the risk of cardiovascular disease can be incorporated in your care. You will also receive education, guidance, and support regarding safe weight reduction through healthy nutrition and to reduce unhealthy habits such as tobacco use.
It is not unusual for some patients to experience anxiety and depression after a cardiac event. Screening for symptoms are completed to improve cardiac rehabilitation treatment outcomes. Turner et al. (2010) suggest that depression, even at a minimum, is a reliable clinical indicator of an individual’s clinical treatment outcome (p. 658). It’s also associated with a lower cardiac rehabilitation completion rate (Casey, Hughes, Waechter, Josephson, & Rosneck, 2008). Discussing the signs and symptoms of depression with your physician and rehab staff will help. Counseling may be recommended to address an individual’s emotional health.
Exercise training is beneficial for patients with coronary arterial disease. Belardinelli et al. (2001) suggest that exercise training determines the regression or delays disease progression for patients with coronary artery disease (p. 1891) and significantly improves the functional capacity in patients with ischemic heart (p. 1898). Long term exercise training of moderate-intensity was found to be safe and improves the patient’s functional capacity and quality of life (Belardinelli et al., 2001).