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Let’s Get Moving: Exercise after a Heart Event

Physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, even after a heart event such as a heart attack or heart failure, but many patients are unsure of what is safe and where to begin. Depending on the severity your heart event, it can take weeks to months to resume your normal activities. For this reason, Cone Health Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center at Annie Penn offers an outpatient program designed to encourage a heart-healthy lifestyle through exercise, the reduction of cardiovascular risk factors and education in a safe, medically supervised setting.

After you experience a cardiovascular event, your life is going to change. Cardiac rehabilitation is designed to be a stepping stone to help you recover from a heart attack, other forms of heart disease or surgery to treat heart disease and get you back to normal life. Your rehab team will create a therapy program based on your diagnosis, treatment and previous activity level to help you get back to your everyday activities, although it may look different. You may not be able to reach the same pace or intensity as you could before, but your rehab team will work with you to modify exercises or activities so you can still participate while putting less strain on your heart.

Cardiac Rehabilitation at Annie Penn Hospital includes four, twelve-week group classes for all ages. Classes are held in a group setting to help patients connect and encourage each other on their path to wellness. Each patient is monitored during exercise training to see how their heart reacts and adapts to exercise.

After some training, most people learn to exercise safely at home, but the Cardiac Rehab team at Annie Penn Hospital also offers a maintenance program, Forever Fit, where patients can continue exercising in a comfortable and monitored setting.

Cardiac rehabilitation is a long-term maintenance program — something to follow for the rest of your life. The lifestyle changes made during rehab can improve your overall health and prevent future heart problems. Ask your doctor whether cardiac rehab can help you prevent a future heart problem and improve your health.

Spokesperson Background:

Diane Coad is a manager and exercise physiologist for the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Department at Annie Penn Hospital in Reidsville, NC. She received her Bachelor of Science in physical education with a concentration in geriatrics health and nutrition from Winston-Salem State University. Diane received her master’s degree in sports and exercise psychology at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. Diane has worked in the health field for over 28 years and is also the part-time massage therapist for Annie Penn Hospital.

Alysia Turman is an exercise physiologist for the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Department at Annie Penn Hospital in Reidsville, NC. She received her Bachelor of Science in exercise science with a concentration in clinical exercise physiology and a minor in health promotion from Appalachian State University in 2014.