The Ornish Reversal Program is comprised of exercise, stress management, group support, and nutrition.
A key goal in the program is developing a regular pattern of exercise that leads to improved cardiovascular fitness. An exercise physiologist guides participants in this component. Recommended exercises include low-level to moderate walking, cycling, and weight training.
There is a strong connection between physical health and mental fitness. Therefore, participants are taught techniques in:
- Visualization to help reduce stress
Participants learn how to handle day-to-day pressures that often contribute to unhealthy changes in heart rate and blood pressure.
Led by a licensed mental health professional, regular group meetings teach participants how to improve communication among their family, friends, co-workers, and each other. The meetings encourage a sense of caring and connectedness to the group.
The nutrition component focuses on plant-based, fat-free, oil-free cooking and eating. The low-fat, whole foods nutrition plan emphasizes whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. A registered dietitian leads this aspect of the program. The dietitian will share information on weight management, grocery shopping, and meal planning. The dietitian also provides helpful cooking demonstrations so participants learn ways to prepare quick and easy Ornish-friendly meals.