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It's Not Just a Program, It's a Lifestyle

by Shannon McSorley

New studies have shown that cardiac rehabilitation classes not only allow for a safe recovery and progress towards normal activities again, but the multidisciplinary program can also result in weight loss and other positive changes. A 12-16 week prevention study done by Dr. Gerard Flaherty in Ireland has shown significant improvements in participant’s body mass index, waist circumference, and HDL levels. The prevention program included lifestyle changes in physical activity and diet. At the end of the study, there were dramatic improvements. A common problem people run into after completing a cardiac rehabilitation program is that when the monitored program comes to an end, so do the lifestyle changes. In the study, they developed a community based “step-down” program for the patients to continue after the program is complete. The tiered program has shown to be more effective when comparing the lifestyle and behavioral changes a year after the program has ended. The hope of this study is that the lifestyle-based primary prevention programs popularity will grow. You may not be in need of a cardiac rehabilitation program, but a preventative program is something everyone can benefit from.


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