Get well and improve your health after a heart attack

Joanne Carey, MHA, RN, RHIA
Cardiovascular Registries Coordinator

Heart attack treatments have changed dramatically from the times when doctors prescribed long bed rest and keeping noise levels to almost whisper levels. Research shows the heart muscle is resilient and, with guided therapy, can remodel itself to be stronger and continue working effectively.

Heart lifting weightsAfter a few weeks of rest following a heart attack, patients enter a cardiac rehabilitation program to learn about nutrition, ways to stop smoking and exercises to improve heart health. These programs can help reduce the risk of future heart attacks and improve health through a new understanding of food and nutrition, exercise and weight reduction. Patients also gain confidence in their abilities.

But cardiac rehab is not limited to those who have had a heart attack. This kind of therapy is also excellent for patients with other types of coronary disease and certain types of heart surgery, including coronary artery bypass grafting or valve replacement surgery. Patients who have received a stent for a coronary artery blockage are also eligible.

At Durham Regional, our accredited cardiac rehabilitation program helps guide our heart attack patients’ recovery. Under the supervision of experienced cardiologists, trained cardiac rehab nurses and therapists work closely with the primary care physician to review the patient’s needs and goals. Then our team tailors a program to meet those needs through walking, stationary bike riding and arm exercises to increase endurance and strength.

To learn more about the cardiac rehabilitation programs at Durham Regional Hospital, visit or call the Wellness Institute at 919-470-8151. We look forward to helping you improve your health!

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