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Cardiac Rehab and Pulmonary Rehab

  • Cardiopulmonary Health and Fitness
    a department of Mary Washington Hospital
    1201-B Sam Perry Boulevard, Suite 240
    (Mary Washington Hospital Campus)
    Fredericksburg, VA 22401
    540.741.1447 Phone
    540.741.1350 Fax
    Mon/Wed/Fri: 6:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
    Tues/Thurs: 7:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
  • TMMP

Mary Washington Healthcare's cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation program provides a safe way for individuals with heart conditions or those who have undergone heart surgery to exercise under the guidance of trained professionals.

If you've had a heart attack or been diagnosed with a heart condition, you may feel hesitant to start exercising or making recommended lifestyle changes. However, our cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation program allows you to safely improve your physical condition and build confidence through regular exercise under the supervision of our trained professionals.

The professionals in cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation include:

  • registered nurses
  • respiratory therapists
  • exercise physiologists

They help you establish heart-healthy habits like getting regular exercise, eating a low fat diet, reducing stress and not smoking.

Although emergencies in the rehab setting are rare, the Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehab team is trained to deal with them.

Benefits of cardiac rehabilitation and pulmonary rehabilitation:

  • Better chance of avoiding disability
  • Improved chances of returning to work
  • Decreased risk of death due to heart disease
  • Decreased risk of future heart attack
  • Fewer episodes of reduced blood flow to the heart (cardiac ischemia)
  • Improved physical functioning and strength
  • Less of a need for heart-related medications
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower levels of both “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and fats in the blood (triglycerides)
  • Relief from depression, fear and anxiety
  • Slowed development, or even reversal, of hardening of the arteries (arthrosclerosis)
  • Weight loss, as many individuals with coronary artery disease are overweight

Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab Patient Education

Ask the Cardiac Experts

Our experts from Mary Washington Cardiology and Cardiopulmonary Health and Fitness held a live event on Facebook to discuss and answer questions women's cardiac issues. The experts in part 4 of this 4-part series were Anna Tomdio, MD, FACC; and Shari Denecke, MS, Exercise Physiologist, MWH Cardiopulmonary Health & Fitness.

Watch all four parts in our Ask the Cardiac Experts series

Patient Forms

Cardiac (Heart) Patients

Pulmonary (Lung) Patients

  • Pulmonary Education Quiz
  • CAT Assessment
  • Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)
  • Pulmonary Self-Assessment
  • Clothing: Please wear loose fitting clothing, preferably cottons or cotton blends. Shoes should be comfortable and designed for exercise with non-slip soles.
  • Medications: Notify staff of any medication changes. If you have inhalers or nitroglycerine, please bring them to exercise sessions. If you are a diabetic, bring your glucometer, snack or glucose tablets to each session.
  • No perfume or cologne allowed, no gum chewing while exercising.

Early Outpatient Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab

After discharge, you'll follow an individualized program designed by your rehab team and your doctor based on a complete, non-invasive and painless evaluation of your physical functioning. No matter what your fitness level or experience is, your rehab team shows you how to follow your program at a safe, comfortable pace during three, one-hour sessions each week.

This phase will help you:

  • Rebuild muscle
  • Improve your body’s ability to use oxygen by building strength and endurance, and
  • Increase your overall physical function and confidence.

During group exercise sessions supervised by your care team, you will wear a heart monitor, and your blood pressure will be consistently monitored to assure you are doing well. Should there be any sign of a problem, medical equipment and expertise are readily available.

Your program will typically last 6-18 weeks with a total of 36 sessions. You should also attend weekly educational sessions on topics regarding lifestyle changes to help you reduce cardiac risk factors. There are six classes:

  • Risk Factors
  • Benefits of Exercise
  • Stress Management & Being Mindful to your Mental Health
  • Nutrition
  • Medication Management
  • Understanding Your Pulmonary Disease and Medications

Maintenance Exercise Program

Cardiac rehab general

To have lasting benefits from cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, you must make a lifelong commitment to exercise. The American Heart Association recommends that you join an exercise group, local gym, mall walkers program or start a walking group in your neighborhood. This program enables you to continue achieving your personal goals in our medically supervised setting where you will receive support and encouragement as well as ongoing coordination of your care with your physician. It’s a great way to stick with the good exercise routines and healthy lifestyle choices you learned outpatient rehab.

Other tips for individuals having trouble exercising on their own include:

  • Avoid temptation to completely give up on exercising because you missed a day
  • Find ways to be more active during the day such as parking a little further away from the store
  • Make exercise a routine that is done on the same days at the same times
  • Try different types of exercise: swimming, biking walking, water aerobics and so forth
  • Pace yourself and do not push to the point of chest pains or severe shortness of breath
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