Lafayette, LA (KLFY) – After a major heart attack, it can be hard for patients to get back on their feet. One hospital in Acadiana is restoring patients quality of life through exercise and nutrition.
Amos Leday has been a patient at the Cardiovascular Institute of the South’s new intensive cardiac rehab center for a couple months now.
He says its been life changing.
“Each person has a coach. The place has so much love,” said Leday. “Everyone gets along. It’s just like one big family.”
“Introducing progress programs that include nutrition and exercise is key to rehabilitation,” said cardiologist Dr. Wade May. “We certainly had a lot of patients taking a lot of medications and getting results from that, but we had difficulty explaining exercise education and nutrition education in a simple clinic visit.”
Doctors and nurses monitor patients progress through specific nutrition and exercise programs, one-on-one consultations and fitness assessments.
Registered dietitian Noelle Comeaux leads the cooking classes in the Cardiac Rehab’s kitchen, whipping up some heart healthy red pepper soup ahead of the program’s cooking class.
“The nutrition aspect is essentially low in sodium, low in fat, really focusing on your whole foods and not on processed foods,” Comeaux said.
Dr. May says the during the exercise classes, patients are hooked up to monitors the entire time and taught how to properly exercise focusing on ways to stay in shape and feel great.
“We’ll be watching their rhythms during their exercises through a telemetry technician,” May said. “We have a physician here the entire time in case they have questions or needs. nurses will be checking their vitals and their glucose.”
The program typically lasts for three months and it’s for patients who went through any type of life-changing cardiac event.
Leday says he plans on living a healthier life going forward.
“There’s nothing like looking out for your body because while you’re looking out for your body and learning, you also can express to others about their body,” Leday said.
Note: patients must have a referral from a doctor to join the cardiac rehab program. It is covered by insurance in most cases.