I started the Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehab program when the Bill Gatton Center for Advanced Cardiac Rehab opened.
I had experienced a heart attack this April while hiking with my family. At age 43, a heart attack was not on my list of things that could happen, but Holston Valley Medical Center quickly diagnosed it, removed the blockage and had a stent placed within an hour. Then, upon my release, I was advised to attend the intensive cardiac rehab classes.
The Pritikin program I’m currently attending has three sections: nutrition, well-being and exercise. My spouse is encouraged to attend the nutrition and well-being parts of the course with me. I attend three days a week and work out under the supervision of an expert medical team. Having them available allows me to work on my endurance without worrying about an emergency situation.
Additionally, the video sessions are informative and easy to incorporate into my new lifestyle. The nutrition classes are also very helpful in learning how to cook Pritikin-compliant recipes, focusing on the importance of calorie density and how to swap out some foods for higher nutritional alternatives.
Since my heart attack, I have lost roughly 50 pounds, lowered my overall cholesterol about 40 points and increased my endurance during exercise. Including my family for portions of the program makes it easier for me to stay on track, because we face it as a team.
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