Friday, December 13, 2013

Cardiac Rehab

I went for my first visit to the Health Sciences North Cardiac Rehab Program facilities located in the Sudbury YMCA building. All angioplasty and bypass patients are referred after their procedures to learn what lifestyle changes will slow the progression of their coronary artery disease.

After filling out some forms and watching an orientation video, I had a one on one with my new caseworker, Trevor. He is new as a caseworker but, when I started at the YMCA back in 2001, he was my fitness coach. A few years later, he switched jobs and I had specifically requested him since he already knows me and my background.

This initial interview involved getting the medical history and asking a bunch of lifestyle questions. The Rehab program is normally a six month process, with eight weeks of introductory sessions and four months of supervised work in the gym. This assumes that the patient does not have any gym experience. Since I have been in the gym for twelve years and was taught the correct use of heart rate monitors and the equipment (by Trevor) long ago, we settled on a two weeks of the introduction (four sessions) tailored to my situation. In the meantime, I will work out as usual now that I can do so without angina attacks.

Trevor does plan to send me to the hospital for another stress test to determine what my optimum workout heart rate is. Theoretically, my maximum rate is 220 minus my age and the cardio workout rate is 80% of that or 127 BPM. He will skip the theoretical part and give me a real number. I will also have a personal session with the dietitian as well as several classes on lifestyle improvements.

So I am on the road to recovery. Quit smoking, eat right, get regular exercise. What could be easier than that?

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