Exercise is a cornerstone for maintaining good health but for anyone who's had a heart ailment, it could mean the difference between life and death.
"If they have a heart event and participate in cardiac rehab, the studies say you're more likely to live longer and less likely to have another heart event, anywhere from 20 to 40% less likely to have another event," Mayo Clinic Health System Clinical Exercise Physiologist Chip Gay said.
Following a cardiac scare, patients are referred to the Mayo Clinic Health System Cardiac Rehabilitation. Around 85% of the people suffering from heart problems have come through the program. Depending on the severity, patients can complete between 1 to 36 sessions.
"We usually start people pretty slow, do two or three or four different machines. The longer they're here the harder we push them, more stuff we have them doing lifting weights, working out doing interval training," Gay said.
Tailoring exercises to fit any diagnosis.
"Whether they've had a heart attack, whether they have heart failure issues or heart pump issues, if they've had valve problems so there are a lot of things that go into developing the exercise prescription as well as their general level of conditioning when they start the program," Lead Charge Nurse Sharon Madson said.
Those recovering only have a brief six months to get into the program.
"If you don't get in quick, you have heart damage or you don't make it and you have damage to your heart and then if you get into the hospital and they get it opened up, get you quick, some people have no heart damage and then their recovery is quick and their long term outcomes are really good," Gay added.
Not only helping your heart...but the entire body.
"Exercise is medicine. It helps your blood pressure, it helps your heart rate it helps your cholesterol, helps prevent diabetes, helps you if you have diabetes, can help your bone density, help your brain health. Your heart is a pump and when you exercise it regularly it helps it become a stronger pump," Gay said.
Preventing any further damage from occurring.

-KEYC News 12