Resources available for heart patients on the road to recovery

Health

Chances are you or someone you know has been impacted by heart disease and this is cardiac rehab week, 22News looked into resources for people on the road to recovery.

“Day by day, you know. You just have to trust you’re doing the right things,” said Art Stanley of South Hadley.

Doing the right thing has become a part of Stanley lifestyle after having a heart attack two months ago.

Stanley is among millions of Americans living with heart disease, but he isn’t letting this stop him. After having a stent placed in his artery, doctors recommended that the exercise which is why Stanley now participates in Cardiovascular Rehabilitation and Wellness with dozens of other recovering heart patients.

“I’ve been very fortunate, been able to stay pretty steady the whole way through,” said Stanley.

Heidi Szalai is the co-manager at Baystate’s cardiac rehab. She told 22News that there are several phases of cardiac rehabilitation. Phase one starts in the hospital. Phases two and three involve rehab in the gym, and classes run for an hour.

“People who are with us right now are part of our phase two cardiac rehab program. They have more recently had a cardiac event. Whether it be a heart attack, if they had bypass surgery, or a valve replaced, and they’re coming to us, so we can utilize exercise as a way of actually medicating them,” said Szalai.

Patients enrolled in this program will receive personalized exercise instruction two or three times a week, regular blood pressure and EKG monitoring, stress management and guidance, and instructions on heart-healthy nutrition.

The program also welcomes diabetic patients who want to take preventive steps to keep their heart healthy.

Studies have also shown that cardiac rehab reduces your risk for future heart attacks, improves your quality of life and helps you live longer.

“Excellent program. They have plenty of good guidance, good assistance to help you work through what you’re doing, lifestyle. So it’s all to the good,” said Stanley.

Nearly half of adults in the U.S. suffer from some form of heart disease

22News would like to help you access your heart health. On Wednesday, we will have doctors in the 22News studio to answer your questions live.

Submit your heart health question now, email us at reportit@wwlp.com.

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