Living the Life You Love After a Cardiac Event

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After treatment for a cardiac event such as a heart attack, a patient’s personal recovery goals are usually simple yet extremely meaningful: “I’d like to be able to walk up the stairs without having to rest.” “I want to walk with my grandchildren in the park and not slow them down.” “I’d love to ride my bike around my neighborhood again.”

These are the things that make life special, and the Cardiac Rehabilitation program at Northern Westchester Hospital makes them achievable. How does that happen?

Learn how Northern Westchester Hospital’s state-of-the-art program helps to build strength, capacity and a heart-healthy lifestyle so you can reconnect with the things you love.

What is cardiac rehabilitation?

The goal is to restore your heart and help you gain the strength to recover faster from heart disease while being safely monitored. Take part in supervised exercise programs, including weight training and aerobic (cardio) exercise. You’ll also learn how to build a healthy lifestyle that dramatically improves your chance of preventing future heart conditions. Get educated about heart-healthy nutrition, stress management, meditation and basic heart disease prevention.

Am I a candidate for the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Northern Westchester Hospital?

With the opening of the hospital’s Cardiac Catheterization Lab at the Seema Boesky Heart Center, comprehensive cardiac care in Westchester is now seamless and more convenient than ever. If you suffer a cardiac emergency, you’ll be treated at our cath lab, after which you’ll receive a direct referral to get the crucial follow-up care needed at our cardiac rehabilitation program.

Candidates for that program have suffered a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack, bypass surgery, angina, heart valve repair or replacement, heart transplantation, coronary stenting or heart failure.

What are the benefits of cardiac rehab?

Perhaps surprisingly, a key benefit is restored confidence. After a cardiac emergency, any pain in your chest area may cause anxiety that another cardiac event is happening. This is completely understandable and very common. However, these fears typically go away during or after cardiac rehabilitation as patients see undeniable evidence of their gains in strength and stamina.

Activities such as walking uphill on the treadmill, riding the bike or using the rowing machine provide great confidence. Other benefits include:

  • Reduced risk factors for heart disease
  • Increased capacity and muscle strength to carry out daily activities
  • Improved quality of life
  • Improved nutrition thanks to new knowledge about healthy choices
  • Increased knowledge about heart disease, knowledge you’ll put to immediate use

What happens when you join the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Northern Westchester Hospital? 

Our experts design a personalized exercise regimen based on health history and physical condition. You can have up to 36 training sessions, depending upon your insurance, during which you receive continuous EKG monitoring and close supervision by our physician and exercise physiologists.

We’re always watching your heart rate and cardiac rhythm. Blood pressure is taken before, during and after exercise. Starting off at 30 minutes, work up to between 42 minutes and an hour of training, with weight training added when appropriate.

How do I choose a cardiac rehabilitation program?

Look for accreditation. For example, Northern Westchester Hospital’s program is recognized by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation for providing a high standard of care and significantly improving patients’ quality of life. Also consider the expertise and experience of staff, convenient scheduling and insurance coverage.

How are patients being kept safe during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Everyone wears a mask. On your first visit, you’ll be asked to have a COVID-19 test. After the initial test, you’ll fill out a COVID-19 screening questionnaire with each visit to the center.

Inside the gym, machines are placed at least six feet apart and gloves and a mask must be worn while using the equipment. All equipment is disinfected after each use. We provide single-use bottled water at each visit, and send all educational materials via e-mail, avoiding paper contact.

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