Cardiac rehab: how Heart Support Groups can help

People exercising at a Heart Support Group

Once you’ve finished your hospital-based cardiac rehabilitation classes, it’s important to continue to be active. Many Heart Support Groups run exercise classes which are specially designed for heart patients.

One of these is Sunderland Cardiac Support Group, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The group was formed by patients, and started with one class a week at the local leisure centre with a handful of members. Now there are six exercise classes a week run by two accredited BACPR (British Association of Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation) trainers, as well as social outings. Around 80 people take part in regular exercise classes, which are open to partners and carers as well and cost just £2 per session.

Everyone who attends enjoys the exercise as well as the social aspect

The group is a registered charity, affiliated to the BHF. Their secretary, Barry Cook, joined the group ten years ago after having a heart attack at the age of 55. He says: “I am certain it does me good and helps keep the heart healthy. Everyone who attends enjoys the exercise as well as the social aspect of meeting friends once or twice a week, especially as a lot of our members live alone.

“We have had tremendous support from the BHF over the years and have also raised what we can to donate and we hope we can continue for many years to come.”

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