What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Cardiac Rehabilitation is an adult fitness program designed to help patients with heart disease return to a healthy and enjoyable life. The program involves a structured regimen of exercise and fitness development along with educational classes on lifestyle modification.

What are the benefits?

  • Reduces risk factors for coronary disease
  • Improves cardio-respiratory (heart/lung) function
  • Returns participants to an active, healthy life
  • Educates participants and their families about heart disease and exercise, diet and lifestyle changes.

Who is a candidate for cardiac rehabilitation?

People with a history of heart disease or anyone with risk factors of developing heart disease are candidates for cardiac rehabilitation. All patients must be referred to the program by their primary physician or cardiologist.

Candidates include:

    • heart attack patients
    • post coronary bypass surgery patients
    • patients suffering from angina (chest pain)
    • patients who have had heart valve or pacemaker surgery
    • patients at “high risk” of developing heart disease.


Phase II is an outpatient, hospital-based program which concentrates on reconditioning and improving the patient’s physical work capacity through a variety of prescribed exercises and continuous cardiac monitoring during exercise. A preliminary stress test is required before beginning this phase.

Patients attend exercise classes two or three days each week for approximately 8 to 12 weeks. All patients are closely supervised by a cardiac rehabilitation nurse, and each patient’s exercise regimen is individually prescribed and updated each week. In addition monthly reports on each patient’s progress are sent to the patient’s personal physician.

Exercises are performed on stationary bicycles, treadmill, rowing machine, arm ergometer machine, nordic track ski simulator, air glider, cardiac glider and recumbent bike.

Patient education is also an important part of the Phase II Program.
Some topics offered are: exercise, blood pressure, medications, risk factor modification, angina, signs and symptoms of heart disease.

Education is done in a variety of ways:
► Daily discussions with exercise
► Group sessions, monthly
► Leading library
► Scheduled one to one counseling