Cardiac rehabilitation: sedentary lifestyle, frailty and chronicity post-COVID19
published in September - October 2021 - in Il Fisioterapista - issue n.5
Gabriele Maria Maglio, Maria Letizia Zuccotti

Secondary prevention through cardiac rehabilitation is an essential part of the care of all cardiac patients. Physical distancing, smart working, prohibition of gatherings and obligation to “stay at home” were the key components to contrast COVID19 pandemic. These measures were necessary to reduce the spread of the virus; however, their implementation has made the development of traditional cardiac rehabilitation programs complex; these programs were abruptly stopped or significantly reduced because they were deemed non-essential during the peak of the pandemic period. With the resumption of cardiac rehabilitation activity, an essential goal, regardless of the setting, must be to reverse the trend of sedentary lifestyle with the restart of an active lifestyle and return to longterm structured programs, on an outpatient basis or through self-conducted interventions. The first priority will be to act on those conditions most at risk, then to try and slow down the progression of reversible conditions (sarcopenia, frailty) and control chronic situations. In addition, it will be necessary to set up aerobic training programs and strength training supervised by a physiotherapist to recover cardiovascular fitness.