Fortunately, in recent years the first cardiovascular activity occurs at a later age. This has been achieved through:
Health, according to WHO (World Health Organization), is defined as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease.” Cardiac rehabilitation programs aim to reach that state of well being, improving the quality of life of patients, because cardiovascular diseases affect the physical and mental condition of the patient. The greater the involvement, the greater the benefits obtained with cardiac rehabilitation.
Cardiac rehabilitation can be defined as a multidisciplinary process that includes physical training, education and counseling regarding risk reduction, lifestyle changes and use of behavior modification techniques. This is therefore a long-term program that includes a previous cardiac evaluation, risk stratification, psychological assessment, and assessment of dysfunctions in the sexual area, prescribing exercise, modification of coronary risk factors, education, and advice, leading the patient to a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.
Thus, the cardiac rehabilitation unit is a multidisciplinary unit, composed by a team of professionals: cardiologists, nurses, physiotherapists, rehabilitation physician, psychologists / psychiatrists, dietitians / nutritionists, …
Cardiac rehabilitation programs are recommended for patients who have suffered myocardial ischemia, surgery, angioplasty, arrhythmias or have pacemakers, heart failure, etc.
However, for those patients with risk factors this can also be used as a preventive method. Considered risk factors are cholesterol, diabetes, age, hypertension, family history, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, sex, stress and smoking.
Prior to cardiac rehabilitation a patient assessment will be required for evaluation: correct clinical history and physical examination, identifying cardiovascular risk factors and performing various tests (ECG, echocardiogram, complete analysis with lipid profile, HbA1C, liver profile, etc.)
Cardiovascular rehabilitation is not focused only on exercise it is a therapeutic tool that must accompany the person throughout his entire life and combining regular exercise with the modification of coronary risk factors.