There is no cure for heart or lung disease. Treatments are available to relieve your symptoms and help you feel better, but you also need to take care of yourself to avoid future problems. This can require big changes in your life such as exercising, eating healthy foods and quitting bad habits.
The cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation (rehab) program at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is designed to help you improve your daily life and maintain your independence. Our program is certified by the state of North Carolina and the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.
Wake Forest Baptist has the first cardiac rehab program in North Carolina and one of the first in the U.S. In addition, our pulmonary rehab program is one of the most comprehensive programs for people with chronic lung disease.
Our team of experts develops customized programs to help patients recovering from heart and lung problems stay healthy.
The goals of cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation are to:
- Help you understand your condition and treatment
- Help you make lifestyle changes that will improve your health
- Allow you to perform to the best of your abilities
- Provide you with support and motivation to help you make and sustain lifestyle changes
Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program
Cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs typically last about 3 months and are often covered by your insurance. We’ll determine your coverage before you start our program. The program includes:
Medical evaluation: This gives your rehab team an opportunity to evaluate your current medical condition and track your progress over time.
Dietary guidance: Our dietician will teach you guidelines for a healthy diet and help you with meal planning. Eating a healthy diet can help you:
- Lose weight, if medically necessary
- Gain weight, if medically necessary
- Take care of high blood pressure and cholesterol
Exercise training: Exercise is a big part of any rehab program. The purpose of exercise training is to increase your strength and endurance. If you’ve never exercised before, don’t worry. Our exercise specialists will closely monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels to make sure you aren’t working too hard for your condition. We design exercise programs tailored to meet to your needs and may include aerobic exercises and weight training.
Support: Counseling can help you adapt to changes that may be required to keep you healthy. Our counselors can help you:
- Reduce stress
- Quit smoking
- Cope with lifestyle changes
- Reduce your risk for future problems
If you are recovering from certain lung problems, additional support is available to help you learn about:
- Avoiding situations that might make breathing more difficult
- The importance of vaccinations and medications
- Energy-saving techniques
- Breathing strategies
Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Team
Our team includes: