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Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac Rehabilitation in Anderson, SC

After experiencing a cardiac event, patients continue their recovery in the LifeChoice Cardiac Rehabilitation program at AnMed Health. Under the watchful eye of registered nurses, exercise physiologists, health specialists and registered dietitians, patients take steps to return to a more active and healthy lifestyle.


What Is Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation is a program designed to help you improve your cardiovascular health after recovering from a heart attack, coronary stent placement, angioplasty, congestive heart failure, valve repair/replacement, and open heart surgery. Cardiac rehabilitation has been shown to decrease the chances of death by as much as 20% to 30% following a coronary event. 

Cardiac Rehabilitation is a multi-disciplinary program that includes both an educational component and an exercise component to improve your overall cardiovascular health. It also includes an emotional component. Considering the mental toll that cardiovascular issues can take on those who suffer from them, mental health services and stress management techniques are important parts of cardiac rehabilitation as well. Depending on your unique needs, the cardiac rehabilitation program in Anderson can help you recover your strength, keep your condition from getting worse, improve your general health, or reduce the risk of future heart problems.

While certain activities and portions of any program will share commonalities, the primary goal of your rehabilitation is to create a customized plan to meet your specific health needs. Your cardiac rehabilitation plan won’t look like someone else’s. This commitment to individual solutions is also why so many different people can benefit from cardiac rehabilitation. Whatever your age, your current health, or the severity of your condition, a customized plan can put your cardiovascular health on the right track. 

All the educational and exercise programs used during cardiac rehab are evidence based and proven to help you recover. Both the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology recommend our cardiac rehabilitation program in Anderson for people who need to improve their cardiac health and reduce the risk of future problems from developing. Most insurance and Medicare plans cover the cardiac rehabilitation center in Anderson, so the cost is manageable if you're insured.


Cardiac Rehabilitation Program Elements

The cardiac rehabilitation process consists of four elements. Before even beginning your rehabilitation, however, it's important to know that you’re ready for the program. In most cases, you can begin your rehabilitation while you're in the hospital or about a week after your hospital stay. Heart surgery generally requires a longer period before rehabilitation can begin. 

Element 1: Medical Evaluation

During the medical evaluation, the rehabilitation team checks your cardiovascular fitness and health status while looking for any significant limitations or other conditions you may have. This evaluation is key to developing the right program for your needs. Expect smaller versions of this evaluation to occur throughout the generally 12-week process, as professionals will need to monitor your condition as you progress through the program. This is useful for adjusting your rehabilitation plan if necessary, based on your progress.

One of the most important aspects of this step is to identify any risk factors you might have. While cardiac rehab is useful for most people with cardiovascular problems, not everyone with heart disease will benefit. Injuries are very rare, but they can happen. If you have a condition that makes you more prone to injuries, such as strained muscles or sprains, you may require special attention during the exercise portions of the program. Additionally, there is a small risk of cardiovascular complications in some cases, but the benefits are the only things most participants will see in the program.

Element 2: Physical Exercise

Physical exercise is an essential aspect of any rehabilitation program. These exercises can vary based on your needs, but they're typically low-impact activities designed to minimize the risk of injury while also promoting cardiovascular health. Even if you have very little experience exercising or no experience at all, these programs will be tailor-made to suit your needs and abilities to ensure that you get the help you need without sustaining any injuries or worsening your condition.

Each patient that attends cardiac rehabilitation at LifeChoice will have an individualized exercise prescription developed by our Exercise Physiologist. Every 6-9 sessions, your exercise program will be modified to include increases in duration and intensity.  

There are a variety of exercises used in cardiac rehabilitation that generally fall into two categories. Most of them are cardiovascular workouts. These may involve exercises like walking, jogging, or cycling, or possibly even more uncommon activities like rowing. The second category includes muscle-strengthening exercises, such as lifting weights or resistance training. Typically, cardio exercises occur about three times a week, while strength exercises should happen about two or three times a week.

Element 3: Health Education

In addition to exercise, these programs also make a point to highlight any important lifestyle changes you may need to make. Cardiovascular health can be impacted by much more than exercising, and these programs are designed to address your health on as many fronts as possible. The education portions typically focus on diet, long-lasting exercising habits, and how to maintain a healthy weight.

Much like the exercise portion, health education is also catered to your specific individual needs. For example, your education may focus on managing diabetes if you're diabetic or managing cholesterol if you suffer from a high cholesterol count. High blood pressure is also frequently covered in the education portion, in addition to smoking cessation tools and techniques. Use this time with your provider to ask any questions you have or to voice any concerns. Cardiac rehabilitation services are a great way to seize control of your diet and habits in order to guide your health in a more positive direction.

Element 4: Emotional Support

When you're facing a serious health problem, it's common to feel mentally drained, and possibly deal with feelings of depression and anxiety. These reactions are normal and expected, but that doesn't mean they shouldn’t be addressed. This is especially true if your injury or condition forces you to stop working for a while or if it causes you to lose touch with your social circle, as isolation can increase feelings of depression and anxiety.

Fortunately, emotional support is a key aspect of our cardiac rehabilitation program in Anderson. Mental health is crucial for overall health and well-being. It’s about more than your emotions; it affects your physical health, too. Depression and other mental health challenges can impact your ability to improve cardiovascular health. If you are coping with depression, your rehabilitation program can connect you with different forms of treatment, including counselors and medications, depending on which would work best for your needs. Additionally, you'll find occupational therapy available that can help you get back to work and return to your social life more quickly, which in turn may support your emotional well-being.

Element 5: Vocational Rehabilitation

Many of our patients are still working in some capacity, and may have concerns about returning to work following a coronary event. We have a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor on staff that provides assistance in a variety of ways to those patients who are currently working or have plans to go back to work. They can help with Job retraining, paying for cardiac rehabilitation services, and they even have a team of worksite engineers that can go in, evaluate your workplace, and make changes so that you are able to continue to do your job from a physical standpoint. 


Who Needs Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Put simply, anyone who suffers from a cardiovascular condition or issue can benefit from cardiac rehabilitation. For the most part, the program is intended for people who are recovering from a heart attack, but other conditions like coronary artery disease and chest pain can warrant rehab as well. Even someone who has something as simple as high blood pressure or high cholesterol can still benefit from our cardiac rehab center in Anderson, though in those cases, more mild treatments may be better suited depending on what your doctor suggests.

It's important to note that any kind of damage to your cardiovascular system can warrant a cardiac rehabilitation program. Even if you underwent beneficial procedures such as a heart transplant, the insertion of stents or a heart valve replacement, cardiac rehab is still useful for recovering from the operation. 

Cardiac rehabilitation is beneficial for all people who are looking to recover from a cardiovascular issue, regardless of sex, ethnicity, or age. Age doesn't affect one's ability to benefit from rehabilitation, as there are programs customized for the needs of elderly people as well as younger people. 


Benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation offers an impressive number of benefits that will significantly improve your overall quality of life. While rehabilitation is focused on your cardiovascular system, of course, you'll still feel generally better in a way that makes your life, physical activity, and even emotional relationships easier to handle. Here are the specific benefits that this rehab can bring:

  • Strengthening your heart and overall cardiovascular system

  • Lessening or relieving symptoms of heart issues, such as chest pain

  • Enjoying a healthier, balanced diet that increases not only your cardiovascular health but also your overall health

  • Adopting new exercise habits to maintain a healthy body overall

  • Reducing stress through emotional support and counseling

  • Improving your overall mood as health issues begin to subside

  • Relieving feelings of depression through counseling or antidepressants

  • Increasing your energy and motivation to perform daily tasks, like climbing stairs and carrying groceries 

  • Establishing important habits for taking prescribed medications

  • Decreasing the risk of future heart problems and death 


Can I Do Cardiac Rehabilitation at Home?

Ideally, all cardiac rehabilitation programs would eventually transfer participants to a home practice before their conclusion. As people need less oversight and become accustomed to the program, it may be easier to perform all the necessary tasks at home. Even the educational aspects of a program can be done over the internet, so you ideally never have to leave home. It does require a good deal of self-discipline to do what the program expects, though.

Home rehab programs will generally offer comprehensive summaries of the exercises you need to accomplish. For example, you may find that a program's plan includes walking for a frequency of three to five times a day for the first four weeks. It may also warn to avoid hilly terrain and to walk at a relatively slow or moderate pace. Then, it'll state how long to do it for, with the time steadily increasing as more weeks go by. The first week may call for 5-10 minutes of walking, while the fourth week may call for 20. Keep in mind that you'll need the proper equipment at home as well. If your program calls for stationary cycling and you don't have an exercise bike, you may need an alternative strategy.


AnMed Health’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

LifeChoice is a medical model for cardiac rehabilitation, and is one of the largest and oldest programs in the State of South Carolina. This state of the art program offers exercise, stress management and nutritional counseling. Cardiac rehab is designed for anyone that has had a recent coronary event. Patients will be placed on a heart monitor during each class, and will have their Blood Pressure, Heart Rate, Heart Rhythm, and Rating of Perceived Exertion monitored by our team of experienced clinicians. 

Cardiac rehabilitation typically lasts 12 weeks or 36 sessions and requires a physician referral. 

Our Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialists

Your LifeChoice rehab team will help you better manager your cardiac risk factors. We will work with you to create an individualized exercise program tailored to your needs. As you gain strength and improve your endurance, you’ll be able to get back to doing the things you love.

We will also work with you to improve your eating habits, control your weight and manage your blood sugar and cholesterol. Most importantly, your rehab team will give encouragement and address your concerns to help you cope with your heart disease. We can even help you find additional resources such as peer support groups and smoking cessation programs.


Why AnMed Health? 

AnMed Health’s dedicated staff of heart care specialists includes board-certified physicians, highly-trained registered nurses, exercise physiologists and clinical dietitians who take a team-oriented, collaborative approach in providing you holistic care so you will feel better and be able to return to doing the activities you love.



AnMed Health Cardiac and Orthopaedic Center

100 Healthy Way, Suite 1100, Anderson, SC 29621