UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) – It’s Aspirus Medical Monday, and this week Aspirus Health is highlighting the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation.

According to Aspirus, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation, or cardiac rehab, is designed to assist patients with heart and lung problems to improve their physical conditioning while learning ways to better their lifestyle. Shea Donnelly, a kinesiologist at Aspirus Keweenaw, explains what a patient will experience during a session.

“[In] cardiac rehab a person comes in and we monitor their blood pressure, their heart rate, their oxygen, get their weights daily,” said Donnelly. “Then we set them up on an individual workout program. And we adjust to everyone’s what they’re capable of doing and we try and progress them as they keep coming. So, most people will do two or three sessions a week. They get 36 sessions that are covered with insurance. And we slowly work on building those intensities and making it a little harder each time and they get stronger and healthier as they go on. So yeah, it’s like an exercise program. So, we do a lot of cardio.”

Donnelly goes on to explain the specific benefits that come with cardiac rehab.

“It can strengthen your heart, lungs and body while also build healthy habits. We provide weekly education handouts and weekly heart healthy recipes. So that helps a lot of people have to adjust their diets to a heart healthy diet and that can be very challenging for a lot of people,” said Donnelly. “Cardiac rehab can reduce symptoms of heart and pulmonary problems such as chest pain and shortness of breath. So just overall make everyone feel better. My favorite part of cardiac rehab is it’s such a social thing. A lot of people don’t realize how good being social is for you and how it can really stimulate people and make them it makes them really look forward to coming in.”

To learn more about Aspirus Health’s cardiac rehab program, please visit aspirus.org/cardiac-rehab.