During the week of Feb. 11–17, Lake Regional Health System's Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation department joined health care organizations nationwide in observing National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week.
"Through cardiac rehabilitation, patients who have faced a serious cardiovascular event reduce their risk for future health problems," said Jennifer Newman, director of Lake Regional Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation. "The support we offer also helps patients improve their strength and confidence, enabling them to lead fuller, more active lives."
Structured and supervised by a physician, a cardiac rehabilitation program can help patients improve their cardiovascular fitness; monitor their heart rate and blood pressure; reduce their intake of foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol; quit smoking; and manage stress. It also allows patients to meet others who have experienced a similar health event.
"Patients in cardiac rehab draw strength from the individuals working alongside them," Newman said. "Depression is common among heart patients, so it's important for them not to feel alone. Our program has patients in all stages of recovery, and those farther along encourage the ones just starting out."
The positive atmosphere and camaraderie were especially evident during National Cardiac Rehabilitation Week. The fun included door prize drawings for exercise visits and heart healthy recipe exchanges, among other activities.
"This week is always a fun time," Newman said. "We love celebrating our patients and their hard work and accomplishments."
Cardiac rehab at Lake Regional is a three-phase program that includes consultation and monitoring by a registered nurse, exercise physiologist and registered dietitian. Throughout the phases, patients learn about their medications, diet and how to exercise safely.
Lake Regional's cardiopulmonary program is certified by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Phase I, II and III services are available at Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach. In addition, Phase II and III services are available at Lake Regional's Cardiac Rehab clinics in Eldon and Laurie. Phase III services are available at all of these locations, plus Lake Regional's Camdenton and Lake Ozark clinics.