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cardiac rehabilitation

Emory Decatur Hospital’s cardiac rehab service in Atlanta, Georgia, is a multifaceted process that uses a combination of prescribed exercise, wellness education and lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of heart failure and heart disease. Our cardiac rehabilitation services are designed to improve your quality of life when you have a heart attack or other heart conditions. Program goals include:

  • Improved exercise ability
  • Reduced cardiac symptoms
  • Positive psychosocial well-being

Pulmonary and cardiac rehab participants are referred to the program by their physicians after recovering from a heart attack, valve repair or replacement, bypass surgery, cardiomyopathy, angioplasty, heart failure, coronary artery disease or stable angina. The length of a patient’s rehabilitation participation is determined by the patient’s individual needs. Patients remain under the supervision of their physicians throughout the Atlanta-based cardiac rehab program to ensure the highest-quality of service and to reduce the risk of heart failure. Our cardiac rehab staff will be happy to verify your insurance for cardiac and pulmonary rehab coverage.

A customized cardiac rehabilitation program can benefit almost anyone of any age. Older adults, who are less able to exercise and have a higher disability rate, may benefit the most from a cardiac rehab program, as our program is tailored to help reduce the risk of heart failure and heart disease. Learn more about our cardiac testing services or read about the variety of heart disease screening services we provide.

How to Prevent Heart Failure: Exercise and Cardiac Rehab

A combination of regular exercise and specialized cardiac rehab programs can help reduce the risk of heart failure.

Benefits of Exercise:

  • Decreases the chance of adverse effects following a cardiac event
  • Causes increased feelings of well-being
  • Improves your ability to perform activities of daily living
  • Reduces your risk of having heart disease
  • Helps to lower blood pressure
  • Helps to lower triglycerides
  • Raises HDL (good) cholesterol
  • Raises the level of activity it takes before you begin to have angina
  • Strengthens muscles and helps replace fat with lean body tissue
  • For diabetics, it can decrease the amount of insulin needed
  • Contributes to a stronger heart muscle
  • Reduces plaque build-up inside the arteries

Benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation:

  • Increases the chance of avoiding disability
  • Improves your ability to return to work sooner
  • Decreases the risk of a recurrence of the heart problem that brought the patient to rehab
  • Decreases risk of sudden death due to heart disease
  • Decreases risk of future heart attack
  • Reduces number of episodes of reduced blood flow to the heart, known as cardiac ischemia
  • Improves physical functioning and strength
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Decreases levels of triglycerides and LDL, or "bad" cholesterol
  • Increases levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol

For more about how to reduce the risk of heart failure, read about risk factors for heart disease or learn about heart attack signs and symptoms.

What to Expect at Cardiac Rehab

Emory Decatur Hospital provides a healthy, positive atmosphere that will help you reduce the risk of heart failure and heart risk factors, increase exercise tolerance and encourage lifestyle changes. We will develop an exercise program specifically for you, and we will monitor you every minute you are exercising. Our pulmonary and cardiac rehab programs have a fully-trained staff who will teach you to use a wide variety of exercise equipment including treadmills, stationary bikes, Airdyne bikes, an arm ergometer and recumbent stepper (Nu-Step). In addition to using the equipment, your cardiac rehabilitation exercise sessions will always include a warm-up, stretching, light resistance exercises using dumbbells and elastic tubing, and a cool-down. You will also learn how to measure your exercise exertion using the RPE exertion scale.

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