Participation in a cardiac rehabilitation program may reduce the risk of further heart problems by encouraging lifestyle changes that help your heart to heal, for you to become stronger, to rebuild your confidence and to communicate with other people who may have had the same experiences.
Adjusting to a serious health problem often takes time. You might feel depressed or anxious, lose touch with your social support system, or have to stop working for several weeks. Heart Support Australia recommends that you seek support, join a Peer Support Group with people who have recently recovered from heart disease or have had a heart surgery. This provides a great way to connect with individuals going through the same as you and a great way to share experiences.
Cardiac rehabilitation is designed to improve cardiovascular health following a cardiac event or procedure. It most likely consists of sessions that may include team-based supervised exercise training, education about your heart event and skills development for on-going healthy-heart living. Counselling about stress management, anxiety and depression following a heart event may also be part of cardiac rehabilitation.
Support by a team of healthcare professionals – which may include a doctor, nurse, dietitian, physiotherapist or exercise physiologist, occupational therapist, social worker, psychologist or pharmacist
A health program – In consultation with your cardiac rehab team you will be provided with a program to best suit your individual needs and health goals
You can also receive information and support in a variety of ways - including face-to-face meetings, phone calls and online programs
Cardiac rehabilitation is recommended for people following any form of heart disease. In addition to what may be provided by your local hospital, Heart Support Australia also has Peer Support Groups in various parts of Australia to assist you with your ongoing cardiac rehabilitation. Peer Support Groups currently exist in Canberra, Caboolture, Perth, Dubbo, Darwin, Maryborough and San Remo. Other Groups are currently being established in Goulburn, Gold Coast, Wagga and Yass - with more to come in rural and regional areas around Australia.
After cardiac rehabilitation
After your program at your local hospital or rehab centre ends, you'll generally need to continue the diet, exercise and other healthy lifestyle habits to maintain heart-health benefits. Your goal will be to exercise and maintain a healthier lifestyle and Peer Support Groups are a great way to get the encouragement and support from your local community.
Over the long term, continuing with cardiac rehabilitation can help you:
1. Improve strength
2. Adopt heart-healthy behaviors, such as regular exercise and a heart-healthy diet
3. Stop smoking
4. Manage your weight
5. Find ways to manage stress and anxiety
6. Help others
7. Enjoy talks by guest speakers
8. Become part of a support post-heart event community
One of the most valuable benefits of cardiac rehabilitation is often an improvement in your overall quality of life. If you stick with your cardiac rehab program, you might end up feeling better than before you had a heart condition.
Heart support Australia holds regular meetings with its members, including
sessions where you can talk about your own experience with other heart patients and their carers.
If you are interested in joining a group or starting a group in your region, we would be delighted to hear from you.
Join us today, it is easy and FREE!