The Road to Recovery Starts with Understanding Your Heart

- Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation Announces Partnership with Polar Electro Canada -

LACHINE, QC, June 22 /CNW/ - Imagine if you were left breathless from climbing a few steps, had to rest when walking to the corner store or if the thought of running a race made you laugh. For Canadians recovering from a heart-related illness, this is often the case. Getting patients back on their feet after a heart attack or other major cardiac event often involves educating people on what they can do to take control of their recovery and overall health. As one cardiac patient learned, it starts with listening to and understanding your heart.

After suffering from a heart attack at the age of 48, Domenic Iafrancesco knew it was time to make a change. As part of his rehabilitation, his doctor referred him to the Cardiovascular Health Improvement Program (CHIP), a not-for-profit rehabilitation centre at McGill University. There, he worked with a kinesiologist who taught him how to take control of his health. A major component of Domenic's program was a comprehensive exercise regime that incorporated the technology of a Polar heart rate monitor. The program focused on motivating Domenic to be more active while listening to his body, and particularly to his heart.

"Due to my heart condition, I was prescribed a target heart rate of 135 beats per minute," says Domenic. "In the beginning, I quickly reached my target by walking for a few minutes on the treadmill. Now, 18 months later, I am running five kilometres, six to seven times a week and I am planning on running a 10K in the Montreal marathon later this year. The use of a heart rate monitor allows me to track my improvements and better understand my exertion levels. I couldn't train without it."

The use of heart rate monitoring technology helped to get Domenic back on his feet. Now Canadians across the country can benefit from heart rate monitor technology in their cardiac rehabilitation thanks to a recent partnership between Polar Canada and the Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation (CACR). Together they are helping cardiac rehabilitation centres across Canada, like CHIP, provide leading-edge heart rate monitoring technology to their clients.

"Heart rate monitors have been incorporated into CHIP's rehabilitative program because of their ability to provide clients with the technology to measure their exertion levels and provide continual monitoring and feedback," says Ilka Lowensteyn, Interim Director, CHIP. "Whether our clients are recovering from a cardiac episode, are high risk or could benefit from the use of a motivational tool, a heart rate monitor is often what we turn to better the success rates of our program participants."

The partnership between the CACR and Polar goes beyond an endorsement of heart rate monitors as an effective rehab tool.

"Heart rate monitors are a proven and easy-to-use tool to help ensure safe and effective exercise for rehabilitative heart patients," says Brigitte Boucher, Director of Marketing, Polar Canada. "Using a HRM in cardiac rehabilitation is one way the patients can improve overall health. Polar heart rate monitors are used around the world in the maintenance of good heart health and Polar is proud to work with the CACR to promote safe activity levels within cardiac rehabilitation programs."

About heart rate monitors

A heart rate monitor is a receiver, worn like a wristwatch that gathers signals sent wirelessly from a comfortable transmitter strap worn around the chest. Heart rate is the most accurate measurement of a person's exertion level. Each person has a different heart rate zone to exercise in for maximum effect, depending on such factors as age, gender and lifestyle.

Used for decades by elite athletes, heart rate monitors are becoming increasingly user friendly, stylish and supportive of all types of fitness regimes and goals - whether that is for people looking to improve their fitness levels or for those recovering from a heart attack.

About CACR

The Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation is a multi-disciplinary association of healthcare professionals dedicated to providing leadership in clinical practice, research and advocacy in cardiac disease prevention and rehabilitation for the enhancement and maintenance of cardiovascular health of Canadians. (www.cacr.ca). The CACR provides advanced educational opportunities to its members and works to establish best practices within all cardiac rehabilitation programs across the country.

About McGill Cardiovascular Health Improvement Program (CHIP)

CHIP is a not-for-profit off site prevention, rehabilitation and research centre of the McGill University teaching hospitals including the MUHC, Jewish General Hospital, St Mary's and the Montreal Children's Hospital.

CHIP's mission is to provide the highest standard of personalized care for the prevention and rehabilitation of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight loss, cancer, depression, insomnia and smoking cessation. Our multidisciplinary team of health care professionals works with hospitals, physicians and the general public to provide access to programs for both primary and secondary prevention.

About Polar

Polar Electro Canada Inc. provides innovative, personal technology solutions that help improve people's quality of life through physical activity. Headquartered in Lachine, Quebec, Polar Electro Canada is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Finland-based Polar Electro OY, which invented the first ECG accurate wireless heart rate monitor, under the Polar name in 1977 as a training tool for the Finnish National Cross-Country Ski Team.

SOURCE Polar Electro Canada

For further information: For further information: Carolyn Abbass, Karen McCullough, cabbass@paradigmpr.ca, kmccullough@paradigmpr.ca, 416.203.2223

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