2827 Fort Missoula Rd.
Missoula, MT 59804
P: (406) 327-4241
F: (406) 327-4496
24-7 Nurse on Call
Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically-supervised program for people of all ages who have either congenital (present at birth) or acquired heart disease. This includes those who have had a heart attack, a stent placement, or have been diagnosed with angina or congestive heart failure. People with pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) can also benefit. Cardiac rehabilitation can often improve functional capacity, reduce symptoms, and create a sense of well-being for patients.
When you begin your outpatient cardiac rehabilitation, you’ll join a small group of people — no more than four— who may have conditions very similar to yours. Exercising after a heart attack, even a walk around the neighborhood, can be frightening. Many heart attack survivors initially worry that exercise or any type of prolonged activity that increases their heart rate could strain their recovering heart. But a new Swedish study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found even a low level of physical activity within the first year of a heart attack was enough to reduce the odds of dying in the immediate years that followed.
Cardiac rehabilitation at Community Medical Center is unique in our area for its small classes and close personal attention. Group members tend to be very supportive of each other, and generous with encouragement and laughter. You’ll also benefit from working with our exercise physiologist, who has a master’s degree in exercise physiology with over 20 years’ experience in cardiac rehabilitation. She gets to know each patient and understands their individual needs. Julie will develop a personalized plan for your classes as well as a home exercise program you can continue after completing your program.
- Ask your doctor if you are eligible. Your primary care physician or cardiologist doesn't need to be affiliated with Community Medical Center to participate in our program.
- If you are, call us to register for one of our cardiac rehab programs.
- Community Medical Center will determine if cardiac rehab is covered under your insurance plan. Medicare and most other insurers provide reimbursement for cardiac rehab undertaken after most of the conditions outlined above.
- Classes typically meet three times a week for one hour, but this schedule can be tailored to fit your individual needs. Classes are available on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm.
- Your therapist will consult with your physician to determine your current condition and start you at a safe pace.
- Your heart rate, heart rhythm and blood pressure will be continuously monitored as you exercise.
- Our experienced therapists watch each participant carefully for signs that they should slow down or stop, and help them know when to increase their activity levels.
- As you exercise, your therapist will give you information about cardiovascular risk factors that is tailored to your specific needs.
- Each participant gives feedback on their program and how they’re feeling during the exercise.
- We welcome spouses or family members to participate as well.
- As you progress through your rehab program, you’ll gradually increase your activities on machines such as treadmills, stationary recumbent bikes and elliptical trainers. Many people are surprised at how well they do and how much better they feel when they get into the rhythm of exercising. You’ll also learn how to make healthy changes to your lifestyle such as:
- Healthy Diet: Our registered dietician will visit several times over the course of your therapy to give advice about healthy eating, including how to create a heart-healthy diet plan that you can stay with and enjoy.
- Quitting Smoking: If you smoke, quitting is one of the best steps you can take to improve your health. We offer counseling on ways to quit, and we work with your physician to help make your smoking cessation program work for you.
- Reducing Stress: Everyday stress is an important factor in health, especially for people with heart disease. Our social workers can give you advice on minimizing the stress in your life, and a psychologist is also available for personal counseling.
- Adjusting to everyday life: Some people with heart disease need help doing daily tasks like cooking and cleaning. An occupational therapist can visit your home and help make it easier and safer to move around in. You can also get advice on conserving your energy with mobility aids and smart movement techniques.
- Getting back to being active: If you are used to a high level of exercise, our personalized lifestyle modification classes can guide you through the best way to return to vigorous workouts