As you go through your healthcare journey, you may hear the term cardiopulmonary rehabilitation. But what exactly is it? And why is it important? Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation is designed for those in need of cardiac rehabilitation and pulmonary rehabilitation, in other words, those who struggle with heart or lung problems. Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation stands apart because it recognizes and uses the relationship between the heart and lungs to maximize patient outcomes. Learn more about this powerful healthcare service. 

What Is Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation targets the heart. It’s different from creating your own exercise program or nutritional plan because it is medically supervised. Experienced and accredited providers will design exercise programs, offer counseling for stress, educate you about heart-healthy habits, and recommend lifestyle adjustments. It can take the guesswork out of what to do if you have struggled or are struggling with a heart condition. It’s also typically offered in a group setting so you’ll be surrounded and supported by others with similar experiences and needs. 

What Is Pulmonary Rehabilitation?

Pulmonary rehabilitation targets the lungs. Just like cardiac rehabilitation, it combines medically supervised exercise programs with counseling and education in a group setting. Particular emphasis is placed on strengthening the lungs to limit shortness of breath and increase stamina. As with cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehabilitation is also provided by a skilled team. You may work with doctors, nurses, dietitians, physical therapists, and exercise specialists. Both cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation are outpatient services, so there’s no need to worry about extended stays in a healthcare facility. 

Who Needs Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation? 

Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation is ideal for patients who have experienced a cardiac event or are coping with a chronic heart condition or lung condition. Common chronic conditions that can benefit from cardiopulmonary rehabilitation include: 

  • COPD
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Asthma
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Emphysema 
  • Stable congestive heart failure
  • Stable angina pectoris

If you’re someone who has recently experienced one of the following medical events, you may also benefit from cardiopulmonary rehabilitation:

  • Coronary bypass surgery
  • Heart valve repair or replacement
  • Myocardial infarction 
  • Coronary angioplasty (with or without a stent)
  • Heart transplant 
  • Pre-/post-lung transplant 

Is Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Worth It? 

Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation can have a dramatic effect on your quality of life. The American Heart Association says “participating in cardiac rehab is one of the best things you can do for your heart,” and the American Lung Association says that pulmonary rehabilitation brings “hope for rebuilding strength and enjoying a more full and active life.” Since cardiopulmonary rehabilitation combines the power of both of these rehabilitative services, you can expect to make a significant difference in your overall health. More specific benefits can include: 

  • Decreasing symptoms
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Increasing your stamina for everyday activities
  • Reducing the risk of future hospital visits
  • Increasing your life expectancy

How Do I Get Started with Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation?

The journey to cardiopulmonary rehabilitation all starts with a conversation with your primary care provider. Take the time to talk with them about why you think cardiopulmonary rehabilitation could be helpful for you. They can let you know about your options and if you’re a good fit. Your primary care provider can also give you a referral to a specific program near you. Once you have that referral, you can get started with this powerful rehab tool. 

Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation at Henry Community Health

Henry Community Health is proud to offer a robust cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program. We offer classes 3 days a week in one-hour sessions. Our team includes a respiratory therapist and registered dietitian to help maximize your experience and results. 

Are you ready to learn more about the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation services we offer? Call 765-599-3719 for information on getting started. You can also fax orders and referrals to 765-599-3530.