Cardiac Rehabilitation Week, initiated by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), coincides with both Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month in an effort to draw greater national attention to heart health during the week of February 9.

This year’s theme, “New Start Better Heart,” honors the patients, families, and healthcare professionals who are dedicated to giving cardiac rehabilitation patients a new start.

Pella Regional’s Cardiac Rehabilitation wants to remind the public that there are ways to achieve ideal cardiovascular health by improving seven risk factors as defined by the American Heart Association and following the 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count by the Iowa Medical Society.

5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count:

5. Eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables.

2. Spend 2 hours or less of screen time.

1. Get at least 1 hour or more of physical activity.

0. Drink more water and no sugary drinks.

7 Risk Factors:

  1. Manage blood pressure: High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. When your blood pressure stays within healthy ranges, you reduce the strain on your heart, arteries and kidneys, which keeps you healthier longer.
  2. Control cholesterol: High cholesterol contributes to plaque, which can clog arteries and lead to heart disease and stroke. When you control your cholesterol, you are giving your arteries their best chance to remain clear of blockages.
  3. Reduce blood sugar: Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose (or blood sugar) that our bodies use for energy. Over time, high levels of blood sugar can damage your heart, kidneys, eyes and nerves.
  4. Get active: Living an active life is one of the most rewarding gifts you can give yourself and those you love. Simply put, daily physical activity increases your length and quality of life.
  5. Eat better: A healthy diet is one of your best weapons for fighting cardiovascular disease. When you eat a heart-healthy diet, you improve your chances for feeling good and staying healthy for life.
  6. Lose weight: When you shed extra fat and unnecessary pounds, you reduce the burden on your heart, lungs, blood vessels and skeleton. You give yourself the gift of active living, you lower your blood pressure and you help yourself feel better, too.
  7. Stop smoking: Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health.

Cardiac Rehabilitation at Pella Regional restores optimal health to patients after a heart event on an outpatient basis. Conditions that may qualify for cardiac rehabilitation include a heart attack in the last 12 months, coronary bypass surgery, stable angina, heart valve repair or replacement, heart stents, heart transplant surgery, compensated heart failure and cardiomyopathy. Benefits include:

  • Provides specific guidelines for physical activity
  • Serves as a resource for ongoing questions that arise during the rehabilitation process
  • Decreases anxiety and depression
  • Improves quality of life
  • Facilitates return to work
  • Promotes independence and self-reliance
  • Increases exercise tolerance safely with close monitoring of the heart's response to exercise

For more information, please call Pella Regional’s Cardiac Rehabilitation at 641-628-6653.

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