MLHS cardial rehab

Michelle Herron, R.N., works with cardiac rehab patients.

February is all about the heart. Not only does it include Valentine’s Day, it’s American Heart Month, which also promotes Cardiac Rehabilitation Week Feb. 9-15. This years Cardiac Rehab Week’s campaign is, “New Start, Better Heart.” The theme is based on the many patients living “healthier” lifestyles after completing a cardiac rehab program, than they did before having their cardiovascular event.

According to the Journal of the American Heart Association, 25 percent of patients that survive an acute coronary event will experience another cardiovascular event, or are at risk for mortality in the following five years. Despite this, more than 60 percent of eligible patients decline participation in a cardiac rehab program. Cardiac rehabilitation doesn’t change your past, but it can help you improve your heart’s future.

Mille Lacs Health System is proud to offer a cardiac rehab program at the Onamia campus inside the rehabilitation department. This program, personalized for each individual, offers monitored exercise therapy, education, nutrition advice, stress management, and support. The program is offered to people who have had heart surgery, a heart attack, stents, heart transplant, or heart failure. Participating in the program can also help reduce the risk of other illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Most importantly, the medically-supervised program helps stop or reverse damage to the blood vessels of the heart.

Long-term benefits to your health, thanks to cardiac rehab, can include: lowered risk for a future cardiac event, healthier eating habits, weight loss, ability to return to work and regular physical activities quicker, damage reversal to blood vessels in the heart, and more.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. One person dies every 37 seconds in the U.S. from heart disease. Your best bet is to start now with making healthier lifestyle choices. Some of the damage already caused to the heart can be reversed. It’s never too late to create a “New Start, to a Better Heart.”

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