Thomasville-- He takes hundreds of steps on the treadmill, 3 times a week. Michael Nocera survived a minor heart attack and faced the threat having to undergo triple bypass surgery. His doctor at Archbold told him to try cardiovascular rehab. Nocera says his doctor, "Wanted to know if exercise would introduce collateral arteries in my heart so we wouldn't have to go into the bypass, and so far its working."
It's working for more than 50 patients who come to rehab every week. "Any type of heart disease will come in here and we'll monitor them on a regular heart monitor just like in the hospital if they've had an event. And we teach them how to exercise safely and effectively at home," says Gwynette Alligood, the Cardiovascular Rehab Coordinator.
Thursday night many of them will walk, not on a treadmill. . . but on the track at Thomasville High School with one goal in mind. "Make people more aware of the need to take care of your heart," says Nocera.
Alligood adds, "The main thing we want to get out into the community is risk factors for heart disease, and the awareness and the education on how to decrease our risk factors." Among the risk factors are heredity, high blood pressure, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and high cholesterol.
"If you'll notice, everyone of those can be modified except the heredity. High bloodpressure, exercise, high cholesterol change their diet and exercise to change the risk factors," says Alligood. "It's important for parents and children to be aware of the necessity to be active and keep that heart active and exercise, religiously," says Nocera. It's advice he's really taken to heart, and hopes others will to.