Back to home Sept. 2012
Cardiac Rehabilitation Aims to Improve Heart and Overall Health
After a heart attack, heart surgery or the diagnosis of heart disease, many patients may benefit from cardiac rehabilitation. Divided into phases, cardiac rehabilitation involves education, emotional support, nutritional counseling and monitored exercise. For 81-year-old LaBelle resident William "Harold" Rentz, cardiac rehabilitation was well worth the one-hour, five-minute drive to HealthPark Medical Center.
"I drove to HealthPark Medical Center 35 times for cardiac rehab," Harold says. "I wanted to get all the information I could, and it was always worth the drive."
Though Harold had previous symptoms, cardiac catheterizations and stents placed in his heart, his most recent procedure in March—which included the placing of three more stents—inspired him to enroll in cardiac rehabilitation. "My cardiologist recommended it and I wanted to go," Harold says. "I told him that I've got places to go and things to see so I'd do what I needed to do to get healthy."
Rulla Starr, an exercise physiologist, says Harold exceeded expectations during his time in cardiac rehabilitation. "Harold was so dedicated to the program," she says. "The fact that he drove 44 miles one way to come to rehab showed such dedication to his health. He learned a lot, lost weight and became healthier during rehab—which is exactly what we wanted for him and all of our participants."
Harold, who previously struggled with eating out and not choosing the healthiest options, now reports that he is eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day and three servings of fish per week. He also walks every morning and joined a gym that has many of the cardio machines he used in cardiac rehabilitation. "I use the treadmills, the stationary bike and the stair climber," he says. "The gym also has equipment to help you build your muscles, and I think I'll start using those, too."
Now that Harold is done with cardiac rehabilitation and feeling stronger and healthier every day, he is planning trips in his motor home.
"People really need to pay attention to their bodies," Harold says. "If something doesn't feel right, get it checked out. Tomorrow's not promised and you have to live accordingly—take care of yourself and enjoy what's around."
“People really need to pay attention to their bodies." "If something doesn't feel right, get it checked out. Tomorrow's not promised and you have to live accordingly—take care of yourself and enjoy what's around.,” says cardiac rehabilitation patient, William "Harold" Rentz.
Reading your Heart's Warning Signs