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    Prescription AR: Rehabbing the heart

    11:10 PM, Feb 6, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Heart disease claims 600,000 lives each year. Imagine going through a procedure to fix it only to have more problems because of what didn't happen afterward.

    Doctors said when it comes to rehabbing the heart, there's more than just exercise. They develop a very personalized plan to help you with medicine, diet, side effects and what ifs. Going through rehab can make all the difference when it comes achieving that complete recovery.

    Putting on a monitor and walking on a treadmill is a weekly routine for Pheonix Bolden.

    "I was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat at the age of 44," said Bolden.

    Bolden is no stranger to heart disease. He's been dealing with it for nearly ten years and said it cost him an early retirement.

    I had to get a pacemaker placed in me. Once it was in I did ok for a little while, then in the last year and a half, and I started getting tired," he said.

    Now thanks to a left ventricular assist device, he is doing better. One of the keys to his good health is exercise.

    Matt Stripling, an exercise physiologist, said cardiac rehab helps a patient's over all wellbeing.

    The daily activity that we depend so much on becomes easier to perform, and you're really able to get back and move around with your family," he explained, but rehab is different for each patient. "We look at diet modifications. We teach stress management. You learn about the procedure you just had when you hear things at the hospital, you can get dazed and confused, and we really try to break it down on an individual basis."

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