Cardiac rehabilitation


A specialized program of instruction and exercise is called cardiac rehabilitation (cardiac rehab). The program under supervision is intended to help people with heart disease feeling better. It is frequently advised following a heart attack or cardiac surgery. Cardiac rehab helps in recovering and physical development.

Cardiac rehabilitation includes physical training, psychological counseling, and instruction on leading a heart-healthy lifestyle. Nutritional eating, weight control, and quitting smoking are all examples of healthy lifestyle behaviors.

During the customized cardiac rehab program, a number of healthcare providers including experts in fitness and nutrition, provide advice. At least three months are usually needed. Regardless of the patient’s age, sexual orientation, or the severity of their heart condition, cardiac rehab can help.

Cardiac rehab can start before the patient is released from the hospital and should last for a long period. The phases of cardiac rehab are as follows:

  • First phase: Doing the cardiac rehab in the hospital or as an inpatient
  • Second phase: Doing the procedure at the hospital as an outpatient.
  • Third phase: Independently (maintaining exercises independently and covering the costs yourself).

According to research, cardiac rehabilitation can lower the chance of developing new heart issues and passing away from heart illness.

Reasons for undergoing the procedure

People with a number of heart diseases have the option of undergoing cardiac rehabilitation. If the patient’s medical history includes any of the following, the healthcare provider may advise cardiac rehab:

  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Chest pain (stable angina)
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Angioplasty and stenting
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Certain congenital heart diseases
  • Heart or lung transplant
  • Heart valve repair or replacement
  • Peripheral artery disease with claudication (pain in the arms or legs during activity)

Cardiac rehabilitation is used to enhance health in those with a history of cardiac surgery or a heart condition. Cardiac rehabilitation is intended to:

  • Improve the quality of life
  • Lower the chance of developing future heart problems
  • Prevent a worsening of the cardiac condition
  • Increase strength


Not all people with heart problems should undergo cardiac rehabilitation. The healthcare provider evaluates and looks over their medical history before recommending it. They undergo tests to determine whether they are prepared to begin cardiac rehab.

Complications involving the heart are also quite possible. To reduce this risk, the healthcare provider closely monitors the patient as they work out. They instruct the patient on how to exercise safely on their own.

Before the procedure

Anyone who has had a heart attack, undergone heart surgery, or has a heart problem should inquire with their healthcare provider about cardiac rehabilitation.

Set goals for the patient’s cardiac rehab program in collaboration with the treatment team. A program that satisfies their needs is created by them. Their care is occasionally monitored by a case manager.

Staff at the cardiac rehab center will perform a quick physical examination on the patient and obtain their medical history before developing a plan for them. They might also request that the patient undergo some fundamental exams, such as:

  • Imaging test: Cardiac imaging test and EKG may also be necessary.
  • Laboratory test: Blood sugar and cholesterol may be recommended.
  • Exercise stress test: With a treadmill or stationary bike.

While the patient is still in the hospital, cardiac rehabilitation can start. But it is typically carried out as outpatient therapy once they are at home. It could be challenging to begin a cardiac rehabilitation program when they don’t feel well. In the long run, it might be beneficial.

During the procedure

Most cardiac rehabilitation programs’ initial phases typically last three months. Some people take longer than others. In certain circumstances, cardiac rehab may be carried out as an intense program lasting one to two weeks and averaging several hours each day.

  • Cardiac rehabilitation includes:
    • Medical checkup: The patient is examined by the healthcare providers. They assess their health conditions and physical capabilities. The team assesses the possibility of heart problems, particularly when exercising. This helps in developing a cardiac rehabilitation treatment for the patient that is secure and efficient. Their team is able to monitor their progress and health by regular checks.
    • Exercise: The heart may remain healthy with exercise. Exercises used in cardiac rehabilitation can enhance heart health. Low impact activities with a decreased risk of damage will probably be recommended by their healthcare provider. Walking, cycling, rowing, and jogging are some of these activities. Yoga is sometimes incorporated. Yoga is beneficial for heart health, according to certain research.
      Patients who are undergoing cardiac rehab usually work out at least three times a week. They are taught the right workout methods by their medical staff, such as warming up and cooling down.
      In addition, the patient might perform muscle strengthening exercises like weightlifting. Muscular fitness can also be improved by doing resistance exercises two to three times each week.
    • Lifestyle education: Making healthy lifestyle changes need encouragement and knowledge. A heart-healthy diet, frequent exercise, keeping a healthy weight, and quitting smoking are some of these modifications. A patient’s daily sleep goal should be between 7 and 9 hours.
      Cardiac rehabilitation also offers advice on how to handle health conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes, excessive cholesterol, and obesity.
    • Support: It frequently takes time to get used to a major health issue. The patient may feel nervous or depressed. The patient could worry about being late for work. They can learn skills through occupational or vocational therapy, which will help them get back to work.
      Speak with the patient’s healthcare provider if they suffer from depression. A cardiac rehab program may be more challenging for someone who is depressed. Relationships, as well as other aspects of life and health, may be impacted.
      They can acquire appropriate coping mechanisms for depression, anxiety, and other emotions through counseling. Medication is occasionally required. To learn what is best for the patient, ask their healthcare physician.

After the procedure

After cardiac rehabilitation is finished, the patient should be able to perform the exercises alone and maintain a healthier lifestyle. To preserve the heart-health benefits, keep up your diet, exercise routine, and lifestyle choices.


Cardiac rehabilitation can assist the patient in physically and emotionally restoring their life. Both their physical and mental health will improve as they get stronger.

Cardiac rehab benefits the patient in a number of ways. It can:

  • Lower the risk of cardiac problems such as coronary artery disease.
  • After a heart attack, heart surgery, or another heart problem, assist the patient in getting well and stronger.
  • Engage in heart-healthy habits including frequent exercise and a nutritious diet.
  • Improve the strength
  • Improve quality of life.
  • Develop coping mechanisms for anxiety and stress.
  • Help in management of weight.
  • Teach the patient healthier lifestyle practices like eating heart-healthy, quitting smoking, moving around more, and sitting less.
  • Help with their breathing and chest pain.

A higher quality of life is one of cardiac rehabilitation’s most important advantages. When cardiac rehab is continued, some patients report feeling better than they did prior to having heart surgery or a heart problem.

The patient’s cardiac rehab program healthcare provider can be contacted with any questions or concerns. But if they are having problems following the program’s instructions, they can also speak with their primary healthcare physician.

Make sure to attend cardiac rehab consistently and all of the follow-up visits with the other members of the medical team.