5NEWS Fit: Cardiac Rehabilitation

Every year, tens of thousands of Americans have a heart attack, according to the American Cancer Association. After receiving care, most people enter cardiac rehabilitation.

Staying in shape wasn’t always one of Jack Turner’s top priorities.

“About the last year, I hadn’t felt like doing anything, and that’s the reason why because I had some stopped up arteries,” Turner said.

It was a close call for Turner after suffering a heart attack. He had stints put into his heart and was recommended to take cardiac rehab.

“It’s a monitored exercise program that we can help gage their activity for their best outcome,” Director of Cardiovascular Services at Sparks Health System Randy Bowen said.

Those in class wear an EKG that’s monitored closely by nurses while exercising. The nurses will stop to check vitals if your blood pressure drops and even call your cardiologist if needed.

“Since I’ve been here, I’ve kind of gotten back on track and I’m down 10 pounds in weight,” Turner said.

Bowen said this is stage two of the three phase program at Sparks. Phase one is inpatient care focusing on education including: smoking sensation, activities of daily living, and medication education. Phase three is non-monitored exercise.

According to Bowen, the best way to see improvement is to change your lifestyle.

“Whether it’s eating, smoking, or exercise, all of these things contribute to better outcomes,” Bowen said.

“We all have responsibilities to stay healthy for our family,” Turner said. “The biggest thing is I don’t want to have no more heart attacks because that’s not fun.”

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