A former firefighter from Minsthorpe has regained his fitness and confidence with help from the Cardiac Rehab Team at his local hospital trust.
64 year old Paul Smith has participated in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercise Group at Minsthorpe Sports Centre - run by the Cardiac Rehab Service at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust. His individualised programme of education and exercise took place over seven weeks following his heart surgery.
“Attending the group following my surgery has been a great help,” said Paul. “I was no stranger to fitness, its benefits and importance having worked in the fire service for 27 years, but being able to exercise in a group environment, after what I had been through, was a tremendous benefit.”
The Cardiac Support Group is available to all cardiac patients at the Trust and is proven to be beneficial to patient recovery. The seven week, 14 session programme aims to ease people back into exercise in a controlled and supported way whilst giving them the confidence to continue with regular exercise afterwards.
Carolyn Stead, Cardiac Rehab Nurse Specialist at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, has also undergone a cardiac exercise instructor course to enhance her role and improve what the team can provide to cardiac patients. She said, “Exercise is so important to aid rehabilitation, especially in cardiac patients. They need to be aware of their limitations but also understand how to build their activity levels in a way that won’t set them back in their recovery.”
Each patient is assessed for their suitability to attend the group before they start and then carries out a fitness test at their first session. This fitness test is repeated at the end of the seven weeks .The patient’s goals and progress is continually reviewed to ensure patients get the most out of their programme.
“I saw a great improvement at the end of the seven weeks,” said Paul, “and I really enjoyed coming to the sessions. It was much better to be able to exercise with others than do it on your own. I do have my own exercise bike at home which I have been given the confidence to get back on to further improve my fitness long-term.”
The Cardiac Rehab Service offers a wide variety of exercise session options across the Dewsbury, Pontefract and Pinderfields areas, within the community and hospital settings .Having such a good choice of times and venues increases accessibility for cardiac patients to exercise .This means more patients are able to attend a group that is suitable for them to improve their long-term health and return to activities they enjoy.