HealthBreak | Cardiac Rehabilitation
Cardiac Rehab is a supervised exercise program for people who have suffered a cardiac event, such as heart attack, heart failure or heart surgery. Susi Mathis, an exercise physiologist at Providence Health & Services in Western Montana, explains how it works. "Cardiac rehabilitation is medically supervised. Individuals get their vital signs taken, and their heart rate and rhythmn are monitored during their exercise program." At Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, MT, Cardiac Rehabilitation also includes classes on dietary changes, managing stress, medication management, advance directives, resistance training, aerobic training, basic hands-on CPR and information about support groups. "Those are the structured classes," explains Susi, "But our patients also get daily personalized education, based on what THEY need at this time in their lives." Most sessions are 12 weeks long and occur three times a week. "We have found that patients who participate in the Providence Missoula cardiac rehabilitation program have better outcomes, less chance of hospitalization and fewer secondary cardiac events," Susi says. "Overall, it will improve their quality of life."