Cardiac Rehab

After a heart attack, negative thoughts and emotions can become overwhelming. Will I have another heart attack? Can I live a normal life? What can’t I do? What can I do? Winneshiek Medical Center Cardiac Rehabilitation is here to help answer all your questions, calm your fears and reassure you that you can live a normal life.

Cardiac Rehab is a specialized exercise and education program for people who have experienced a heart attack, by-pass surgery, stent placement, valve replacement or live with chronic stable angina. It is also designed to help strengthen those who live with heart failure, although Medicare will not cover the cost of Cardiac Rehab for this diagnosis.

Our program combines a little bit of work with a good dose of fun. We are here to help you slowly and steadily recover and feel like yourself again. The program is designed to slowly and safely increase your level of activity while monitoring your cardiovascular system (heart and circulation) to make sure you are safe and doing well.

We also offer weekly education sessions and pamphlets that help you understand what has happened to you and where you go from here. Included is information on healthy eating, how and what to do for daily exercise, how to manage your stress, medications, signs and symptoms and emotional adjustment to cardiac disease.

Our program is run by a registered nurse and a rehab tech or athletic trainer. The length of therapy depends on how well you are feeling, how your body is tolerating exercise and how active you are on your own.

Common Questions about Cardiac Rehab

  1. What is Cardiac Rehabilitation? Cardiac rehabilitation is a supervised exercise program to return cardiac patients to optimal health following a major cardiac event, such as bypass surgery, heart attack, stent placement and valve replacement. We meet with each individual patient to create a program that involves exercise and education to meet his or her needs. Goals may vary from becoming more physically fit, to feeling better or simply wanting to get back to your daily routine.
  2. Who needs a cardiac rehab program? Anybody with the above conditions or with chronic angina, which is heart pain from a narrowed artery. Patients must have a referral from their health care provider, and cardiac rehab is covered by insurance for many conditions – be sure to contact your insurance provider to confirm coverage before you begin the program.
  3. What kinds of services does cardiac rehab offer? Cardiac rehab offers a monitored program of aerobic and strengthening exercises along with specific educational opportunities: Nutrition Counseling, Stress Management, Healthy Hearts, Getting Fit, and Emotional Adjustment. After patients have completed their recovery program, they can choose to participate in a health maintenance program for as long as they wish.
  4. How long do people attend cardiac rehab programs? Program length varies from patient to patient: three times per week for one month to three months. It truly depends on the individual care needs of each patient.

Cardiac Rehab sessions are held three times per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the Rehabilitation Gym on the lower level of the medical center, which is well equipped to provide a wide variety of exercise options. For more information, call Winneshiek Medical Center Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine at 563-387-3031.