Thirty years ago, when a person had a heart attack, they recovered in the
hospital for six weeks, knowing that the only activity they would be able to do
during that six weeks was walk from the bed to the bathroom.
have changed and so has cardiac rehabilitation. Now, patients are encouraged to
start walking the day they leave the hospital, which may be less than a week.
Some even begin rehabilitation days after the attack, while still in the
rehabilitation often involves both diet changes and exercise. Since the heart
is still vulnerable after a cardiac event, cardiac rehabilitation offers
medically supervised exercise. Patients often wear a heart monitor while
exercising, which allows the patient to feel confident about the level of
events like heart attacks, heart surgery and heart failure are major events in
a person’s life, and can often be traumatic. Cardiac rehabilitation programs
recognize that these events are both physical and emotional. Many programs also
have psychological components in the form of support groups, counseling, or
vocational or occupational therapy to help patients move on to lead healthy, happy
Health has a state of the art cardiac rehabilitation program, with a brand new,
fully equipped exercise room.
Denver Health Cardiac Rehabilitation program integrates education about how to
create a more heart healthy lifestyle, and exercise training to improve heart
health as well as overall physical health, and support. The program provides a patient
navigator to help patients schedule appointments, as well as a social worker
and pharmacist to help throughout the rehabilitation process. In addition,
patient support groups allow patients to talk with a counselor, and each other,
about their experiences and required lifestyle changes. Smoking cessation
classes and support are also available through the program
Health offers cardiac rehabilitation to patients with heart disease risk
factors, heart failure and those who have suffered a heart attack. Denver
Health’s integrated health care system allows physicians in the community health
center clinics to recommend patients to the cardiac rehabilitation program in a
seamless process. .
Editor’s note: For more information about the Denver Health
Cardiac Rehabilitation program, or for information about cardiac rehabilitation,