SkyRidge operates local cardiac rehab program
by WILLIAM WRIGHT, Lifestyles Editor
Aug 09, 2013 | 1573 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Healing the heart
GLYNN BURT, 78, has been in the Phase III heart program since October 2012, and says he is delighted with the program and his progress so far. Burt, who had single bypass surgery, said he enjoys the environment, nurses, members and machines provided at the center. Banner photos, WILLIAM WRIGHT
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For anyone who is considered a high risk for having heart problems or who already has heart disease but wants to exercise in a safe, medically supervised gym without the fear of overdoing it, SkyRidge Medical Center has a cardiac rehabilitation program that may be right for you.

Phase III of the program, many feel, is one of the most successful, economical and enjoyable programs for staying in shape and losing weight in Cleveland. Cleveland native Glynn Burt, 78, has been in the Phase III program since October 2012, and admits the program is helping him tremendously after having single bypass surgery last year.

“I’m doing more exercise than I did before and it’s strengthening my heart,” he said. “I have lost weight. When I leave here I feel like I have more energy and it’s cheaper for me than going to the YMCA. I highly recommend this program to everyone who has any kind of heart problem. It’s very relaxing.”

One of the great benefits of the program is that all exercise sessions are supervised by registered nurses specifically trained in this area. The sessions last around an hour and progress is measured by exercise tolerance tests scheduled at periodic intervals. Other benefits of cardiac rehabilitation include lower blood pressure, control of stress, improving self-confidence and emotional health as well as managing your heart health while gaining strength and stamina.

Wanda Perry, the service line administrator, said, “This program is instrumental in helping individuals with heart disease, or who are at risk for heart disease, to make the positive changes in their lifestyle that can actually improve overall heart health. We want individuals to be active participants in their heart health, and this program is an excellent vehicle to accomplish this goal.”

Established in 1983 to enhance the recovery of patients with heart disease, the program assist individuals who are at high risk for having or who already have heart disease. Some patients have been in the Phase III program for eight years or longer and praise its benefits as “extraordinary” and “wonderful.”

Another thing that makes Phase III a unique exercise program for individuals at risk for developing heart disease is that enrollment is by physician referral. So a person may or may not have had a heart attack, heart surgery or symptoms of coronary heart disease to qualify for the program — as long as their physician refers them. The initial phase of rehabilitation will be determined by your physician, making it one of the safest programs one could ask for.

Once referred to the program, the center’s staff will contact you for an initial interview and to review the program. In many instances your insurance may pay a portion of or all the program fees, depending on your coverage.

SkyRidge Medical Center’s Rehabilitation Program actually has three phases. Although anyone can join phase three with a doctor’s referral, Phase I is designed for patients while hospitalized. Phase two is an outpatient program lasting up to 12 weeks. It consists of monitored individualized exercise therapy and education to reduce the risk of injuries and increase one’s knowledge of heart disease. Phase III is a more flexible program that requires less assistance and more independence. It is also self-pay.

According to the American Heart Association, about 785,000 Americans have an initial heart attack and another 470,000 have a recurrent heart attack each year. It is important to recognize the signs of a heart attack and to act immediately by calling 911. A person’s chances of surviving a heart attack are increased if emergency treatment is given to the victim as soon as possible.

According to WebMD, “A sedentary (inactive) lifestyle is one of the top risk factors for heart disease. Regular exercise has many benefits. It can strengthen your heart and cardiovascular system, improve your circulation and help your body use oxygen better, increase energy levels so you can do more activities without becoming tired or short of breath, lower blood pressure, improve muscle tone and strength, improve balance and joint flexibility, strengthen bones, help reduce stress, tension, anxiety, and depression, improve sleep, make you feel more relaxed and rested as well as make you look fit and feel healthy.

For further information about the SkyRidge Medical Center Cardiac Rehabilitation Center Program, call 423-559-6032.