Picks and Pans Review: Cardiac Rehabilitation Exercise Program

updated 02/06/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 02/06/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST

This four-part exercise series was designed for recovering heart-disease patients by 22 cardiac specialists. Each of the 60-minute videos, from elementary to advanced, is tailored to teach safe activities for the appropriate stage of recovery. The tapes are hosted by Henry Miller, a professor of cardiology at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University, and registered nurse Kathy Berra, director of cardiac rehabilitation at a YMCA in Palo Alto, Calif. Their tone is caring but not gloppy as they describe the importance of exercise to help relieve depression, improve sleep and increase stamina. The program begins with a pre-warm-up checklist, to determine whether you're ready to exercise, and instructions on measuring your heart rate. Viewers follow along as Berra and three of her patients demonstrate each routine. Tape 1 begins with simple heel lifts and ends with a string of mild stretches. Tape 2's activities are no more vigorous than a brisk walk. Tape 3 contains mild aerobics, and Tape 4 caters to the rehabilitated patient. Once available only when prescribed by a doctor or rehabilitation therapist, the tapes can now be purchased at pharmacies, though a doctor should obviously still be consulted. (VideoCare, $49.95 each; 800-338-1927)

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