Keep Your Heart Healthy! February is American Heart Month & Cardiac Rehab Week

February 6, 2020

Helen Hayes Hospital joins organizations across the country in the celebration of American Heart Month and Cardiac Rehabilitation week throughout the month of February. During this important month the hospital raises awareness about heart health and heart disease prevention, and highlights the life-saving benefits of cardiac rehabilitation following a heart attack or illness.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, with one person dying every 37 seconds from cardiovascular disease. At least 47% of Americans possess one or more risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a history of smoking, unhealthy diet, obesity, and/or physical inactivity. To combat these risk factors, the Centers for Disease Control suggests making the following lifestyle changes to combat heart disease at any age:

  • Don’t smoke: Smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States. If you do smoke, start a smoking cessation program or reach out to your healthcare provider for tips on how to quit.
  • Manage your health conditions: Work with your healthcare provider to manage any conditions you may have, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Take your medications as prescribed and follow your doctor’s suggestions for lifestyle changes.
  • Eat a heart healthy diet: Fill up on more fruits and vegetables and transition to a diet of foods that are low in trans-fat, saturated fat, added sugar, and sodium.
  • Get active: Aim to be active for a minimum of 150 minutes per week.

If a person does experience a heart attack or other heart problem, studies have shown that cardiac rehabilitation not only can help a person recover, but can decrease the chance that a person will die in the five years following a heart attack or bypass surgery by 20-30%. Even with these promising statistics, the CDC finds that women and older adults are still less likely to attend a cardiac rehab program.

During Cardiac Rehabilitation Week, February 9-15, 2020, we urge our neighbors to participate in prescribed cardiac rehab programs and remind them that the Inpatient and Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs at Helen Hayes Hospital have been developed to help heart patients resume and maintain their active, healthy lives. Led by a team of specialized clinicians, our comprehensive cardiac rehab programs are tailored to improve patients’ heart health, strength, and endurance following a heart attack or surgery. Program features include monitored therapy and exercise to help improve cardiovascular function and modify cardiac risk factors, education sessions which focus on nutrition, exercise guidelines, stress reduction, blood pressure and cholesterol control, continued access to the hospital’s professionally-supervised Wellness Center, and much more.

Learn more about Inpatient and Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation at Helen Hayes Hospital by calling 845-70-REHAB