Cardiac rehab can help heal your heart, get you back to living life

Kinesiologist takes patient's blood pressure

When you're living with heart disease, especially if you've just had a heart attack or heart surgery, it’s normal to worry about your quality of life going forward. How much activity is too much? Am I eating the right foods? Will I get back to doing the things I love?

The unknowns can be overwhelming. This is where the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation team at Aspirus Keweenaw steps in.

Cardiopulmonary rehab, or cardiac rehab, is a medically supervised program designed to help patients with heart and lung problems improve their physical conditioning and learn ways to better their lifestyle. A typical program lasts 12 weeks and is run by a team of doctors, nurses and other experts. During the classes, participants exercise to get stronger, and they receive heart-healthy education, nutrition, counseling and support.

“We care deeply about our patients and want to help them get back to living healthier and happier lives,” said Andrew Meverden, kinesiologist at Aspirus Keweenaw. “It’s very rewarding when patients realize how lifestyle changes and exercise can turn their health around, and we’re with them every step of the way.”

As part of Aspirus’ mission to heal people, promote health and strengthen communities, Aspirus has expanded cardiac rehab appointments to the Aspirus Houghton Clinic. Additional services provided at both clinic locations in Laurium and Houghton include the phase III exercise program and peripheral artery disease (PAD) therapy.

“PAD therapy is targeted therapy to treat symptoms of activity-limiting lower extremity arterial disease,” said Gregg Fisher, Aspirus U.P. Regional Director of Cardiopulmonary Services. “This service is rarely seen in rural communities. We are constantly improving care to give our communities the best.”

The phase III exercise program is a 12-session, structured exercise and educational program for people with high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, cancer, or general deconditioning.

Accredited by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR), the cardiac rehab program at Aspirus adheres to the highest standards and guidelines recognized in the industry.

Appointments are available in Laurium, Houghton and Ontonagon. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call the Aspirus Laurium Clinic at 337-6528, Aspirus Houghton Clinic at 231-8053 or Aspirus Ontonagon Clinic at 884-8149.

Want more information about cardiac rehab at Aspirus? Visit the cardiac rehab services page on the Aspirus website at

Photo caption: Aspirus Kinesiologist Sarah Golus takes Jim Warn's blood pressure during an appointment at Aspirus Keweenaw on Monday, February 24. Warn, of Calumet, Mich., has cardiac rehab appointments three times a week and says it's changed his life for the better.