Reasons for Exercise Therapy
Exercise can improve heart function, exercise performance, and enhance the ability to perform activities of daily living. Additionally, it can reduce symptoms associated with exertion, improve cardiovascular disease risk factors (lower blood pressure, improve blood lipids, reduce insulin resistance and glucose intolerance), and reverse anxiety and depression. This will lead to an improved quality of life.
Exercise is a key component in weight-loss programs and in improving one's fitness level. An individual will come to the exercise session and be guided through and be motivated by an experienced exercise physiologist or physical therapist.
One should prepare for the exercise session in the following ways:
- Do not eat or have any caffeine at least one to two hours before the exercise session.
- Be properly hydrated and bring additional water to the exercise session.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes to the exercise session.
Common Questions and Answers
Is exercise therapy painful or uncomfortable?
One may feel tired, out of breath, and there may be some sweating. Once on a regular program of exercise, one may not feel as tired as quickly and will not be as short of breath.
Who performs / prescribes the exercise therapy treatment?
The cardiologist will recommend cardiac rehabilitation or exercise therapy. Experienced exercise physiologists or physical therapists carry out the individualized sessions.
How often are exercise sessions recommended?
The individual and his/her exercise physiologist or physical therapist will determine the frequency of sessions, as guided by the referring physician. In general, the treatment consists of moderate to vigorous exercise for at least 45 minutes every day, including three days per week of strength and bone-loading exercises. These exercises may be performed within the formal hospital/clinic setting or at home.
Is exercise therapy risky or dangerous?
The benefits of exercise are indisputable and outweigh the risks. Complications rarely occur, but if they do, the staff is equipped to handle such complications.
Contact Cincinnati Children's Heart Institute
Cardiac Exercise Rehabilitation Program
- The Cardiopulmonary Exercise Physiology Lab