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Cardiac Rehab Week

February 14th, Valentine’s Day when love and romance are in the air is symbolised globally by red hearts.

Coincidentally, in 2021, Valentine’s day is also the start of ‘Cardiac Rehab week’.

What is Cardiac Rehab?

Heart Disease is the leading cause of death around the world. Let’s have a look at some facts and figures concerning heart disease in the UK. Information from the British Heart Foundation show that:

· 7.6 million people are living with heart and circulatory diseases

· Each year, more than 160,000 deaths are due to heart and circulatory disease

· More than 100,000 people are admitted to hospital with a heart attack each year which is one person every five minutes

· High cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, smoking and a family history of coronary heart disease are the main risk factors for developing coronary heart disease.

Cardiac rehab is recommended for anyone who has suffered a cardiac event, for example a heart attack or major heart surgery and sometimes for those with heart failure or angina. A cardiac rehab program comprises guided exercise therapy alongside education, information and support, to help patients recover, return to normal activities and to prevent further cardiac events. Programs can run from 8 to 12 weeks and can be customised to the individual if needed.

Any event that affects your heart can leave you with anxieties about the future. Your cardiac rehab practitioner can help answer your questions and provide all-important reassurance as you make progress week by week through your rehab giving you confidence to take each new step. They also provide encouragement and support to help you make important lifestyle changes to improve your health. In short, they can ensure the process is enjoyable and sustainable.

How has Covid-19 affected Cardiac Rehab?

Across the country there has been considerable disruption to cardiac rehabilitation programmes. Services have been reduced, face-to-face services ceased and patients supported over the phone or with online resources.

In June 2020 a statement was issued by British Heart Foundation and others estimating the “consequence of this disruption is likely to be an increase of 30% of unplanned hospital admissions of cardiovascular disease patients resulting in substantially reduced health-related quality of life, compromised mental health, and decreased daily activity/functional ability.”

What can I do if I’m affected by this?

If you’re affected by heart disease, whether or not you’ve had an event which has taken you into hospital, you can improve your outlook by adopting Heart Healthy Habits, introducing changes to your lifestyle at a pace you can manage.

For example, the British Heart Foundation report that two in every five adults in the UK currently don’t get the minimum recommended exercise of two and a half hours a week. Yet, being more physically active can reduce the risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases by more than a third.

There is no such thing as a ‘quick fix’ when taking steps to improve our health, no before and after photographs that make it look easy, Rather it’s a steady progressive journey, setting and achieving regular small goals. With the right support and encouragement, we can take these small steps, alter our daily routines and these accumulate into big changes over time all of which will reduce our risk of future illness and improve our quality of life.

If you, or someone you know, is affected by heart disease then we are here to help. Joining one of our programs will improve your heart health and help you look forward to many more Valentine’s Days.

Jo Rycroft is a Consultant Exercise Physiologist who specialises in Cardiac and Cancer prehab and rehabilitation. She has worked with renowned cardiologists and oncologists on Harley Street in London and Jo is now running private clinics in Cumbria and Cheshire. As well as recovering from illness, Jo’s Clients also include those wanting to get fitter to enjoy more time with their grandchildren and those looking to spend more time in the Lake District fells.

Jo is based at The Body Rehab clinic in Staveley which offers a Covid-19 secure environment.

Jo also offers remote sessions via video call and one to one home visits if appropriate.

She works in conjunction with medical professionals, including GPs and physiotherapists.

If you’d like to find out more about the programmes available, you can call for a free telephone consultation on 07713564492 or email Jo at

More information and testimonials can be found at


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