What is cardiac rehab?
Cardiac rehab is also known as cardiovascular prevention and rehab. It is for people who have cardiovascular disease including heart attack and stroke. This program helps you learn skills needed to live a healthier lifestyle through education and exercise. A team of professionals works together to support your journey. The team usually includes physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, kinesiologists, dietitians, psychologists and social workers.
I’ve had a stroke. Why do I need cardiac rehab?
Cardiac rehab is not only for people who have had a heart attack. Research shows that cardiac rehab benefits people who have had a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) or stroke. This is because the risk factors for heart disease and stroke are the same – both are diseases of the cardiovascular system, or unhealthy blood vessels. Cardiac rehab helps you learn skills to manage your risk factors for stroke, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, through diet, exercise and medication. If you live a healthier lifestyle, you will feel better and reduce your chance of having a future stroke.
How do I join?
Find a cardiac rehab program in your area through the Canadian Association of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation directory. A doctor’s referral is generally required.
Where to learn more about this topic:
Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery