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Heart Attack Recovery

Cardiac Rehabilitation During the Recovery Period

Millions of people survive heart attacks and resume active, normal lives. The time it takes to recover from a heart attack will depend on many factors, including successful participation in a cardiac rehabilitation program. These programs include exercise training, education on heart-healthy living, and counseling to reduce stress and help you return to an active life.
Almost everyone who has had a heart attack can benefit from some kind of cardiac rehabilitation (cardiac rehab for short). Women are helped as much as men are. If your doctor does not talk to you about cardiac rehabilitation programs, speak up and find out about programs that might fit your needs.
Exercise training will help you learn to safely participate in physical activity to strengthen your heart and your muscles, and improve your stamina. If you are still recovering from a heart attack, you may worry that exercise could be harmful. In fact, physical activity can help prevent future heart problems. Your cardiac rehabilitation team will plan a program that is safe and effective for you.
Cardiac rehabilitation programs will help you learn new heart-healthy habits and teach you how to control your risk factors for heart disease; they will also offer support as you cope with the challenges of adjusting to life following a heart attack. Depending on your needs, a program may help you quit smoking, manage conditions such as diabetes, follow a heart-healthy eating plan, lose weight, and manage stress.
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