Cardiac Rehabilitation

Overview

Cardiac rehabilitation is a structured set of services that enables people with heart problems to have the best possible help physically, psychologically, and socially to enable them to return to as full a life as possible. It is aimed at anyone who has experienced a cardiac event such as a heart attack, heart surgery or stent procedure or has been diagnosed with a heart condition, such as Coronary Artery Disease, Angina, or Heart Failure. The goal of cardiac rehabilitation is to improve strength, adopt healthy behaviours, and ultimately decrease the risk of further heart complications in the future. 

Physical Activity & Cardiac Rehabilitation

Physical activity is essential in the management of heart conditions and is the cornerstone of cardiac rehabilitation pathways, to help individuals become more active and in a safe, effective way. Physical activity is essential for improving cardiorespiratory fitness, which can lead to a reduction in all-cause and heart related mortality. It also helps the heart work better and may reduce the risk of another cardiac event, such as a heart attack, which it does by:

  • Preventing blood vessels from narrowing further
  • Preventing blood clotting
  • Helping deliver blood to the heart
  • Helping maintain a normal heart rhythm 

The Benefits of Physical Activity for Cardiac Rehabilitation

The benefits to those completing cardiac rehabilitation programmes are well established and include:

  • A reduction in cholesterol 
  • A reduction in blood pressure
  • Increased smoking cessation
  • Increased quality of life
  • Improved functional capacity
  • Maintains independence and supports return to work
  • Development of self-management skills
  • Increased fitness
  • Weight loss and reduction in waist circumferences
  • Reduction in fasting blood glucose and increased insulin sensitivity

However, despite the numerous known benefits of physical activity, for many people eligible for cardiac rehabilitation, it is something that is often dreaded or feared, and there is a common misconception that for physical activity to be valuable it must be vigorous, or exercise based. In fact, physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure, and as such it is important that we account for all of the movement in our lifestyles, not just exercise.

How do we Help?

The focus of KiActiv® is on empowering individuals to make the right choices for their health and to create new habits relating to their physical activity that benefit them during cardiac rehabilitation and in the future. As such, understanding that physical activity is more than just exercise and sport, and that every move matters, is vital for empowering effective self-management.  

By avoiding activity, you use your muscles less and they become weaker. Your heart is a muscle, so inactivity weakens your heart, as well as increasing your blood pressure and risk of developing blood clots, all of which increases your risk of suffering another cardiac event. We call this the vicious cycle of inactivity. However, the opposite is also true. When you chose to be active, and it is never too late to start, your heart will become stronger. As you get fitter, your everyday tasks and other activities will become easier, so you will be able to move more for the same level of effort. 

At KiActiv®, we empower individuals eligible for cardiac rehabilitation to focus on movements they enjoy or feel comfortable with, and learn how to pace themselves, which can help alleviate fear and deliver the numerous benefits of physical activity and promote self-care. Staying physically active can take a variety of forms, from small, everyday changes, such as walking an extra bus stop or taking the stairs instead of the lift, to the structured exercise in rehabilitation programmes, and we help put you in control of your health and your recovery.

Client Quotes

“I feel 100% better” – 61, Female, Cardiac Rehab, CVD

“I’m feeling really good. I’m feeling a lot fitter, fitter than before the heart attack. My stamina is getting better.” 49, Male, Cardiac Rehab, CVD

“I feel fitter, stronger and more motivated to reach health and lifestyle goals in the future.” – 55, Male, Cardiac Rehab, CVD

“I have improved my diet and lost some weight.” – 72, Male, Cardiac Rehab, CVD

“You do feel better when you’ve done it, don’t you.” 62, Male, Cardiac Rehab, CVD

“It’s made me more aware of what I’m doing and trying to make sure I do something on a daily basis.” 72, Male, Cardiac Rehab, CVD

“This has been an absolute lifeline for me. Really educational.” 60, Male, Cardiac Rehab, CVD

“You just don’t count housework. I’ve never thought of it like that, incredible. Love it.” 60, Male, Cardiac Rehab, CVD

“After my heart attack, it was not easy to motivate myself to improve my fitness. The KiActiv® program, plus the discussions and advice I had from you, really helped me to get back the fitness I had enjoyed prior to my illness. I would certainly recommend the program.” – 78, Male, Cardiac Rehab, CVD

“It helped me plan my exercises and improve my fitness after having a heart attack in 2020. I also found the KiActiv® staff very knowledgeable and helpful, I would highly recommend this programme to all.” – 50, Male, Cardiac Rehab, CVD

“After being given the chance to use KiActiv®, I now feel I have a lot more control over how activities I partake in affect my health and wellbeing. The ability to look at and categorise activities in graphs and see the impact, has been invaluable. I feel so much more positive about my recovery as I am able to plan and assess my recovery on a daily basis. Because of this I would not hesitate to recommend KiActiv® to anyone.” – 67, Male, Cardiac Rehab, CVD