Every week at The Parks Sports Centre in North Tyneside two cardiac rehabilitation exercise sessions take place.

Cardiac rehabilitation is a nationally recognised programme helping people with heart disease. This could be people who have suffered a heart attack, have had heart surgery or who have any other heart condition.

It’s an essential part of an overall treatment plan for people with heart disease. The exercise portion of the programme helps patients understand their condition and how a healthy/active lifestyle can lower their risk of future heart problems.

Cardiac rehabilitation is broken down into phases and is delivered by a multi-discipline team including Cardiologist/Physicians, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Physiotherapists, Clinical Nutritionists/Dietitians, Occupational Therapists and Exercise Professionals.

The process begins while patients are speaking to their doctors or if they have been in hospital. The early stages involve conversations around what can be done to help prevent their health concerns worsening, discussions about returning to work if appropriate and an introduction to the cardiac rehabilitation programme.

The next step is to attend supervised sessions, in North Tyneside, The Parks Sports Centre is one venue where this session takes place. There is a requirement to attend twice a week for 6 to 8 weeks, and several members of the team are involved to offer information and advice on all aspects of healthy living, including medications and the management of stress.

At the end of the supervised sessions, those attending are invited to continue exercise sessions at dedicated venues, including The Parks Sports Centre, where they can take advantage of the expertise of exercise professionals to continue their rehabilitation.

By continuing their exercise routine with professionals who understand their individual situations, many find their self-confidence improving and learn the importance and benefit of regular physical activity. Longer term this means their lifestyles are underpinned by healthy habits which will lower their risk of reoccurring problems in the future.

Many people find that attending a cardiac rehabilitation programme can improve their overall quality of life and help them to understand what they can do to help themselves. Attending a group also allows people to meet others who have been through similar experiences, which can be reassuring for both the individuals and their families.