If you have had heart problems your doctor may well have recommended cardiovascular physical therapy. This sounds rather technical but in actual fact it’s quite simple: exercise can help you recover. “Cardiovascular” refers to the heart and the function it has of pumping oxygenated blood around the body.

The aim of cardiovascular therapy is to build up and improve the interaction between your heart and lungs. Physical therapy is the principle means of aiding your recovery by building up your stamina and strength.

What Exercises Are Done In Cardiovascular Physical Therapy?

A professionally supervised exercise routine can improve physical endurance and help prevent a future heart attack. A physical therapist will take into account your age and medical history to devise an individualized program for you.

Cardiovascular physical therapy exercises seek to safely and gradually build up your heart, lung and muscle strength. Before any workout, warming up exercises are essential to avoid injury. These include stretching, as well as low impact strengthening and weight-bearing exercises. Breathing exercises may also be involved due to the close link between heart and lung health.

Initially, cardiovascular therapy will probably focus on getting you moving – learning to walk before you run! Yoga and Thai Chi are also great ways to improve heart health, posture, balance and self-awareness and supplement your exercise routine.

Later on, or in addition to these activities, the focus may switch to aerobic exercises where you have to push yourselves just a little bit. Once the patient has made the necessary improvements in physical health, even dancing may be possible.

Man with chest pain. Cardiovascular physical therapy can help preventing chest pain and heart attacks

How long does cardiovascular physical therapy usually last?

Many people ask this question, but cardiac rehab does not have an end date. In many ways cardiovascular physical therapy – even just taking a short brisk walk every day – is a lifestyle change. Exercise is doubly important if you have diabetes which is often accompanied by heart trouble. If you have diabetes, you may be two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease.

Is too much exercise bad for the heart?

The short answer is yes if it is too much. However, if all the necessary precautions and procedures are followed, the cardiac exercises are absolutely great for your heart. Before starting any physical therapy program your doctor or therapist will most likely determine a safe level of exercise for you.

During cardiovascular physical therapy workouts will be closely monitored by a physical therapist, exercise physiologist, and/or nurse.

Haym Salomon Home for Nursing and Rehabilitation’s heart specialists and rehab therapists are great, and the medical director is a cardiologist. If you live in Brooklyn NY and have had heart surgery or other heart condition, rest assured that you are in good hands with us. Our cardiovascular physical therapy specialists are second to none and can get you back on your feet again.

Contact us to find out more about our rehabilitation therapy services and medical care. We are here to answer any questions and concerns you may have. Let us know what worries you and how we can help to smooth out any issues. Our admission office coordinators can talk to you and help.