Dr. Drew and “Celebrity Rehab's” million viewers proved we're fascinated with the process of rehabilitation, at least when it is someone else's. When it comes to tackling our own rehab for cardio-catastrophes, believe it or not, less than 20 percent of people who would benefit actually get with the program. We've been saying for years that it is the single smartest step you can take -- and now there's even more to back it up. So if you've had heart problems:
What to do? Get your doctor to enroll you in cardiovascular rehabilitation or, even better, Intensive Cardiac Rehab, ASAP.
What's new? It's now for anyone who's had a heart attack, bypass surgery, stents, heart-valve surgery, heart failure, heart transplant, cardiac resynchronization therapy or a cardiac defibrillator (ICD) implant.
What's the payoff? If you go into CR immediately after a heart attack, you'll slash your risk of a repeat in half; go into ICR and the risk falls by 90 percent. And everyone, no matter what their heart-health issue, lives a longer, healthier and more productive life.
What is it? CR and ICR include supervised physical activity. Plus: Psychological counseling to ease anxieties and -- finally! our hospitals have always done this -- nutritional counseling. It'll help you eliminate the five heart-stopping food felons: trans fats, saturated fats, any grain that's not 100 percent whole, added sugars and syrups.
What to ask for? Ask your doctor to get you into a CR or ICR. Don't let anything keep you from your life extension!
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Medical Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information go to www.RealAge.com.