Date: 2/9/2005

Community Hospital hopes to build awareness during Cardiac Rehabilitation Week

MUNSTER — When people hear about cardiac rehabilitation they tend to think this medical care is only available to those who have suffered a heart attack or undergone a cardiac procedure such as angioplasty. In fact, cardiac rehabilitation can be a valuable tool to rehabilitate a weakening cardiovascular system before life-threatening heart disease takes hold.

To help educate the public on the heart-strengthening benefits of cardiac rehab, the Cardiac Rehabilitation staff of Community Hospital will be celebrating Cardiac Rehabilitation Week Feb. 13 through 19. “Cardiac Rehabilitation: The Rhythm of Life” is the theme and our staff wants people to know that they can take advantage of the three components of cardiac rehab -- education, creation of an exercise program and support from others — to keep their hearts in good rhythm.

An estimated 150,000 to 250,000 people participate in cardiac rehab each year in the United States to help them regain heart strength after heart attack, open heart surgery, angioplasty/stent and angina. However, cardiac rehab is also for people with heart arrhythmias, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Fitness Pointe in Munster offers specialty cardiac rehabilitation classes for diabetics and people with peripheral arterial disease. “Cardiac rehab is an excellent program for individuals starting an exercise program who prefer to have a supervised and structured format until they are comfortable and motivated to exercise on their own,” says Erica Hein, cardiac rehab/screening coordinator.

“People think, ‘I can’t go there because I haven’t had a procedure or a heart attack,’” says Cardiac Rehabilitation Staff Nurse Laura York, R.N. “But we would rather have you here before you have the event.” To help the public better understand the offerings and benefits of cardiac rehabilitation, an open house will be held from 8 to 11:30 a.m. and from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2 at Fitness Pointe, 9950 Calumet Ave. in Munster. In order to participate in cardiac rehab patients need a doctor’s order, stress test and lipid profile. For more information on cardiac rehab, please call Erica Hein at 219-934-2830.

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