F.I.T.T for Cardiac Rehab

What are the FITT principles

The FITT principles are an exercise prescription to help participants understand how long and how hard they should exercise. FITT is acronym that stands for Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type. … Frequency: Daily moderate exercise is ideal, but try to exercise a minimum of 3-5 days per week

Dr. Pragnesh Gadhvi

Dr. Pragnesh Gadhvi

Cardiologist
Union City, NJ
Dr. Sreeram Grandhi

Dr. Sreeram Grandhi

Cardiologist
Union City, NJ
Dr. Michael Cohen

Dr. Michael Cohen

Cardiologist
Union City, NJ

Min Naruki-van Velzen, MSc, discusses the FITT principle in regards to exercise and physical activity.

Quiz: Do You Understand Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Test your knowledge by answering the following questions:

Questions
True
False
1

The first phase of cardiac rehab may even begin while you’re in the hospital.

Explanation:
The first phase of cardiac rehab may even begin while you’re in the hospital. Your healthcare team will assess your mobility, ensure proper discharge planning and recommend safe exercises.
2

The second phase of cardiac rehab may also begin while you're in the hospital.

Explanation:
The second phase of cardiac rehab starts after you've been discharged from the hospital. It provides support and education, promotes adherence to your exercise and lifestyle plan and offers emotional support.
3

The third phase of cardiac rehab solely focuses on ongoing exercise training.

Explanation:
The third phase of cardiac rehab focuses on ongoing exercise training and counselling.
4

The fourth phase of cardiac rehab is mostly independent.

Explanation:
The fourth phase of cardiac rehab involves independent exercise and conditioning.
5

You can't control heart disease risk factors - it's all about genetics.

Explanation:
While there are some heart disease risk factors you can’t control, there are some you can, including diet and lifestyle.
(Answer all questions to activate)
Min Naruki-van Velzen, MSc, discusses the phase-based approach to cardiac rehab.

Min Naruki-van Velzen, MSc, discusses phase 4 in cardiac rehab.

What are the Four Phases of Cardiac Rehab?

Cardiac rehab has four phases. Phase one is by the bedside and it’s usually done by the nurse or occupational therapist, physiotherapist.

Once you’re discharged home you’ll be offered an outpatient program where you’ll be coming into the hospital. This is usually called phase two to three cardiac rehab and it again involves exercise classes two to three times a week, and you’ll be supervised by a team of multi-disciplinary health care professionals.

Once you finish that program, which is usually four to six months in length, you’ll be sent out to a community-based program – phase four, where you can carry on with programs indefinitely and stick to lifelong exercise and healthy living.

We take this phase-based approach to cardiac rehab so that we can start you in a supervised setting that’s very safe when you’re perhaps a little bit new, recently finished a cardiac event. And then we try to progress you on to more self-directed, less supervised programs.

If you have more questions in terms of the phase-based approach to cardiac rehab or getting involved in a cardiac rehab program please contact your family doctor or cardiologist about being involved in a cardiac rehab program.

Presenter: Mr. Min Naruki-van Velzen, Athletic Therapist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Athletic Therapist

Min Naruki-van Velzen, MSc, discusses cardiac rehab after a cardiac event.

Cardiac Rehab - What is Phase 4?

hase IV cardiac rehab is really the maintenance phase of cardiac rehabilitation.

Generally when you’ve finished a hospital-based phase II, III outpatient program, you’ll be offered programs out in the community. They may be at your local rec center, or perhaps at the local YMCA, or even private gym.

But here’s really a chance for you to return to a lot of the activities that you enjoyed perhaps prior to your heart event. If you enjoyed sports, or outdoor activity like kayaking and hiking, and all those kinds of things, here’s an opportunity for you to use those types of things to keep you healthy for life.

Also, there’s a chance for you to connect with a local trainer just to refresh your program, try something new, also to touch base with them over time to see what are some other things that you could do.

And you can also touch base with your local dietitian or nutritionist just to make sure that you’re staying on top of your diet and that you’re not slipping back into ways that perhaps would cause damage long term.

Talk to your healthcare professional team in your phase II, III hospital-based program about phase IV community programs that are available in your area. Alternatively, you can also talk to your family doctor or cardiologist about community-based phase IV programs close to you.

Presenter: Mr. Min Naruki-van Velzen, Athletic Therapist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Athletic Therapist

Min Naruki-van Velzen, MSc, discusses the differences between physical activity and exercise.

Min Naruki-van Velzen, MSc, discusses Weight Loss and Cardiac Recovery and how activity and nutrition help play a role in managing weigh.

What is FITT?

The four main points around exercise when recovering from heart disease can be summarized in the FITT principle: frequency, intensity, time and type.

In terms of frequency you want to be active most preferably every day of the week.

Intensity is really determined by the type of heart event that you had and what your physical capabilities are at that time. And you’ll be given direction on that by the exercise specialist in the cardiac rehab program.

When it comes to time we’d like to see people physically active for at least 30 minutes a day, probably more, especially if you’re trying to manage your weight. In terms of type, it really doesn’t matter too much; choose what works best for you. Perhaps you like to exercise outdoors with walking, and that would be completely fine.

On the other hand, if you don’t like to be outside when it’s raining, indoor exercise like gym exercise, or yoga, or Pilates, that type of activity might be fine for you as well.

The best thing to do is either talk to your general practitioner, your family physician, or your cardiologist about being referred to your local cardiac rehab program.

Presenter: Mr. Min Naruki-van Velzen, Athletic Therapist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Athletic Therapist

Weight Loss and Cardiac Recovery

Physical activity does play an important role in weight management, but the number of calories we actually burn through physical activity is probably far fewer than we think.

To give you an example, someone, an average person walking every day of the week for an hour, briskly on level ground, probably still won’t even burn off the equivalent of a pound of fat. And that’s with seven hours of exercise.

So you can see that without healthy eating and nutrition, it’s very difficult to lose weight. Having said that, physical activity does help, and any type of aerobic exercise, like walking, snowshoeing, kayaking, fitness classes, all those types of things help, but without healthy eating it’s really difficult to lose and manage your weight.

If you’re interested in losing or managing your weight, losing some fat, talk to your family doctor about getting started in a program. You can also talk to your local trainer, kinesiologist, dietitian and nutritionist to help you along your way to managing your weight.

Presenter: Mr. Min Naruki-van Velzen, Athletic Therapist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Athletic Therapist

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