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? WinnMed 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, live with chronic stable angina, live with heart failure, have had a heart transplant or are currently on an LVAD. 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 education to 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.

Meet Our Team
Heather Lange, ATC/L headshot
Athletic Training
Kelli Reuckert, ATC/L headshot
Cardiac Rehab
Kim Wilmes, RN headshot
Cardiac Rehab

Common Questions

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.

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.

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.

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 Phase II

Phase II Cardiac Rehab begins shortly after you are discharged from the hospital – usually within two to three weeks. The purpose of this phase is to slowly rebuild your physical endurance as well as your strength through a four to twelve week period of exercise and wellness education. Objectives of your exercise program may vary from becoming more physically fit, to feeling better, to simply wanting to get back to your daily living or working routine. It is important to remember that exercise has many benefits, most of which are life long. Some of the benefits you can expect to see from your exercise program may include:

  1. A reduction in cardiovascular disease symptoms.
  2. A reduction in fatigue, tension, and anxiety.
  3. Improved joint function and muscle strength.
  4. Increased flexibility.
  5. Increased stamina and endurance
  6. Lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  7. Improvement in appearance and sense of well being.

The Phase II program at WinnMed consists of exercises and educational sessions supervised by a team of health care professionals. Sessions are held three times per week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on the lower level of the hospital. During the exercise sessions you may take part in a variety of physical activities including treadmill walking, stationary bicycling, Nustep recumbent walking, and a variety of strength training exercises – all tailored to increase your endurance and strength. It is also expected that on the “off” days of the program you will be exercising at home, following exercise instructions given to you by the cardiac rehab staff.

The WinnMed rehab gym is well equipped to provide a wide variety of exercise opportunities. The equipment consists of stationary bicycles, treadmills, arm ergometers, recumbent steppers, stair climbers, elipitcal machines, and an assortment of weight equipment. While working with the equipment your heart rate and rhythm are monitored using portable telemetry units. You are continuously monitored by a registered nurse and a rehab technician who takes your blood pressure periodically and ensures you are responding well to exercise. We are also well equipped and well trained in the event that a problem or emergency should arise. It is important to note, however, that careful observation and good communication during your exercise session greatly reduces the chance of a problem.

Cardiac Rehab Phase III

Phase III Cardiac Rehab is a continuation of the exercise routine you have established while in Phase II Cardiac Rehab. The purpose of Phase III is to keep up your exercise routine and reduce cardiac risk factors. Your blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen level are monitored and a record is kept during each session.  The length of Phase III is determined by each individual, as you can come in to exercise indefinitely.

The cost of Phase III is $40.00 for 12 sessions and is NOT covered by Medicare or insurance; however, we will give you a receipt for an income tax deduction. Attempts to obtain third party reimbursement may be made by each individual. If you have graduated from a Phase II program within the past 3 months you are eligible to begin Phase III Rehab. Contact Cardiac Rehab for specific days and times that are available by calling 563-387-3031.

Your Appointment

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 WinnMed Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine at 563-387-3031.

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