A heart attack is one of the most frightening things you can experience. Many people don’t survive. And of those who do, there is a lingering doubt and fear. Will it happen again? Invariably, many link their previous heart attack to some form of physical exertion, and have an aversion to physical activity forever after.
You may know exercise helps. You may even know many people with a heart condition benefit from it.
But you may also be thinking: how risky is it? After all, for a long time, people were advised not to stress their heart by doctors, including through exercise. You may have been cautioned not to exert after discharge, and every well-meaning person around suddenly wants to protect you from even the most minor tasks you want to do.
So what’s the truth?
A lot of people think that cardiac rehabilitation is just about exercise after a cardiac event. As a physio and exercise physiologist running cardiac rehab, I extol the virtues of exercise. But I’d also be the first to say that exercise per se isn’t cardiac rehab.
Sure, exercise is one of its most important components. But if you think you can manage alone after your cardiac event just by exercising, think again. Although many of us associate “cardiac rehab” with treadmill walking and lots of gadgets hooked on, there’s much more to cardiac rehab than meets the eye! Even if you think you’re ‘cured’ with a stent, a CABG op, or a pacemaker, you still need cardiac rehab. Read more