If you were diagnosed with a cardiovascular problem or recently had heart surgery, your cardiologist will develop a solid fitness plan to help you get through the rehabilitation process. Your activity levels will begin low and gradually increase as your stamina increases and your healing progresses. Most cardiac rehabilitation is completed with a cardiovascular fitness facility or a hospital. Here's an overview of what you can expect from your rehabilitation plan.
Creating a Fitness Plan
The first step of any cardiovascular rehabilitation is a comprehensive fitness assessment by your rehabilitation therapists. This assessment is important, because it sets the basic foundation for where you can start safely. Depending on your condition, you might be restricted to flexibility and strength exercises for a while, or you may be deemed healthy enough for some light aerobic therapy, too.
Your rehabilitation specialist will then give you a written plan that details the exercises that you need to do and how you should do them. This ensures that you have something to reference to do them safely. You may also want to create a journal so you can log your exercises, how you felt afterward and any side effects you may experience.
Considering The Aerobics
Aerobic exercises are great for general cardiovascular health, but only if your cardiovascular system is healthy enough. If your health care team determines that you can handle light aerobics, you'll likely start with a routine that you repeat a couple of times a week. If you underwent surgery in your chest area, you'll probably be advised to use a stationary bicycle or a treadmill. This ensures that you don't damage your chest muscles. The point of aerobics is to strengthen your cardiovascular system, not cause physical strain.
Focusing on Muscle Tone
You'll probably also have to do some muscle toning and strength-building exercises. This may include things like resistance bands or light free weights. As you progress through treatment, you'll have to use more resistance and weight as well as increase the number of sets and repetitions. Make sure that you follow the numbers provided to you even if you feel as though you can do more.
Your core muscle strength is dependent on the muscle's ability to complete a range of motion. You'll be advised to do stretches on a regular basis, both before and after your exercise routines. This warms your muscles up before your exercises, helps to sustain the elasticity of the tissue and reduces the risk of cramping.
Understanding the rehabilitation process that's ahead of you will help you to be better prepared for the expectations and the progression. For more information, visit http://www.nrothandrehab.com or a similar website.