14 June, 2015    #48

Cardiac Rehab Overview

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Continued from Trax News Article #47

After my cardiac event while exercising in Bidwell Park, and placement of a stent in my right coronary artery, I now find myself enrolled in a Cardiac Rehab or Rehabilitation class for the summer semester.  Not exactly what I expected when listing my resolutions for 2015!


Just like any other class, you really don’t know what to expect on the 1st day.  Entering a room with computerized exercise equipment positioned around the perimeter and students scattered at central tables, I was immediately greeted by a nurse and an exercise physiologist.  Evidently, I was in the right place and provided with course materials in a three ringed binder.  My classmates were both male & female ranging from 50 to 80 years of age.  I felt lucky at 72.


Cardiac Rehab is a class that has no beginning or end. Students just join intermittently and graduate after attending a complete cycle of exercise and education.  After attending 36 classes, 3 times a week for 3 months, life is hopefully forever altered through life style changes and education.




Completing seven sessions, I now feel comfortable with class expectations; the routine goes something like this.  Arriving at 3:00 PM, I weigh myself and record results along with any exercise performed on an off-class day into a personal log.  Three electrical leads from a wireless ECG (electrocardiography) device are self-attached to my chest, as was instructed on the 1st day of class.  Blood Pressure and Heart Rate are taken by the nurse and also logged.  While exercising, my cardiac response to physical exertion will be continually monitored.




Rehab class begins with stretching and weight training for about 10 minutes.  All new students start with 1 pound weights and work up to heaver weights over time.  Next, we select a computerized treadmill or stationary bike for 16 minutes of sustained exercise.  You start at your own pace, but if your heart rate and/or ECG exceeds limits, you will be instructed to slow down.  After a 2 minute cool down and a drink of water, exercise continues on the other equipment for the same amount of time.




After resting, short educational presentations on subjects near and dear to your heart finish off the class.  I am beginning to realize that Cardiac Rehab should actually start in High School to prevent the root cause of the “Metabolic Syndrome”!More on this in future Trax News articles.




Mike Kohut, President, DDMS




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