HealthWatch: Cardiac Workout Buddies

Published 07/27 2014 11:58AM

Updated 07/30 2014 05:59PM

Green Bay (WFRV)    If you've had a heart attack or heart surgery, your doctor ordered you to have cardiac rehab and that you should keep up for life.

But ask anybody who has started a workout regimen-- it's tough to stick to it.  But we found one group of guys who are sticking to it and having fun.


You usually don't see people laughing while working out.

"We have a lot of fun doing it, we have a bunch of clowns," said Ken Giese, Cardiac Patient.


For the cardiac coffee club at Aurora BayCare Medical Center-- it's the norm.


"We do have a few jokes now and then and we enjoy it," explained Don Deterville, cardiac patient.


The four have suffered serious heart issues, from stents to open heart surgery.


"The heart needs the cardiovascular exercise, it needs to stay nice and strong.  They stop exercising and their hearts get weak and we start to see more problems again," explained Katie Gilmour, Exercise Physiologist, Aurora BayCare Medical Center.


After finishing doctor ordered rehab, It's up to the patients to continue on their own.  But some weren't sticking with the program.


"Oh, you would skip it, you would say oh, I cut the lawn today and I'm not going to exercise today because I did this or I did that," said Ken Giese, cardiac patient.


Gene agrees, "There is no fun doing it at home.  Sit and look out the window and ride the bike," said Gene Rollin, cardiac Patient.


So they work out twice a week through Aurora Baycare's  Phase Three Cardio Workout.


"It's easier in a group," said Gary Guth, cardiac patient.


The men say going to a scheduled session keeps them honest about their workouts, "It's like you shouldn't miss," explained Don Deterville, cardiac patient.



"This here with the bunch you work out longer," said Ken Giese, cardiac patient.


And having trained cardiac therapists on hand helps.


"We've had the heart problems and we all know what can happen while exercising.  While working out having trained staff on hand while that, that's a plus," said Gary.



And it's been working, "I can go upstairs, walk much farther, do lots of things I couldn't do before," said Ken.


Although they've all had heart issues-- that topic isn't discussed much, "We talk about other things, we can't tell you on camera," joked Gene.


It's a bonding experience that ends with a trip to the cafeteria for some coffee.


"You've got a lot of baloney to put up with, but it's alright," joked Gary.


The group sessions are open to all Aurora BayCare cardiac patients for a small out of pocket fee.


To learn more you can click or call Aurora BayCare at 866-938-0035 or send an email to


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