Why is exercise important?
A major part of cardiac rehabilitation is exercise to strengthen your heart muscle and restore your energy and vitality.
Before you begin you may have a stress test to determine how your heart performs when you exercise.
The results will help our staff design an exercise program tailored to your unique needs.
You will exercise on treadmills, arm ergometers and stationary bikes. While you exercise, nurses will monitor your heart rate and closely watch your progress.
They will make changes to your individual program depending on how you do and send regular progress reports to your doctor.
Who qualifies for cardiac rehabilitation?
Cardiac rehabilitation is recommended for most patients who have had a heart attack or surgery involving the heart.
Patients with valve replacement and pacemakers may also qualify.
Your doctor will help you decide if cardiac rehabilitation is the right therapy for you, and you must have a doctor's order to begin the program.
Insurance may cover your cardiac rehabilitation at MaineGeneral.
Please call your insurance company if you have questions about your coverage. Tell them you plan to participate in a Phase II outpatient cardiac rehab program.
How do lifestyle changes affect my health?
Exercise can help heal your heart, but making healthy lifestyle choices is just as important.
That's why education is such a vital part of your rehabilitation experience.
Healthcare professionals meet with you to talk about diet, medications, smoking cessation and managing your heart disease.
You will also learn about the warning signs and symptoms of heart problems.
Family members are encouraged to attend these educational classes with you.
How do I continue care after rehab?
When you successfully complete your Phase II program of exercise and education, you can choose to participate in a Phase III exercise program.
Phase III is a safe way to transition to your own exercise program. These classes range in length from four to eight weeks.
In Waterville, classes are held in the Cardiopulmonary Unit on the Thayer Campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8 to 9 a.m.
In Augusta, patients are referred to a formal Phase III program at the Kennebec Valley YMCA.
Phase III is a self-directed program, meaning you are not monitored during your exercise period because you have successfully completed your rehab program.
Nurses are on hand and will take your blood pressure at the beginning and end of each session.
You will learn to take your own pulse and monitor your own progress.
This service is not covered by insurance companies. Information is available for other post-rehabilitation exercise fitness programs.
If you have any questions, please ask a cardiac rehabilitation program staff member.