Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) is a medically
supervised program that helps improve
the health and well-being of people who
have heart problems.
Rehab programs include exercise training,
education on heart healthy living, and
counseling to reduce stress and help you
return to an active life.
What is the
Cardiac rehab helps people who have heart problems:
• Recover after a heart attack or heart surgery.
• Prevent future hospital stays, heart problems, and death
related to heart problems.
• Address risk factors that lead to CAD and other heart
– These risk factors include HTN, hypercholesterolemia, being
overweight or obese, diabetes, smoking, lack of physical activity,
depression and other emotional health concerns.
• Adopt healthy lifestyle changes. These changes may include
a heart healthy diet, increased physical activity, and
learning how to manage stress.
• Doctors (family doctor,
a heart specialist,
and/or a surgeon)
• Exercise specialists
• PT and OT
• Dietitians or
• Psychologists or other
Rehab may help people who have had:
•A MI •A heart transplant
•An angioplasty •A lung transplant
•Heart valve repair or
replacement •Heart failure
When does rehab begin???
Usually the patient will be seen while still in the
hospital to start the rehab process AND then
after being discharged they will continue the
process at a rehab outpatient center.
What do patients learn???
THEY LEARN HOW TO:
• Increase their physical activity and
• Follow a heart healthy diet
• Reduce risk factors for future heart
• Improve their emotional health
Increasing Physical Activity
The rehab team will work with the patient to
create an easy-to-follow exercise plan.
• It will include time for a warm-up, flexibility
exercises, and cooling down.
• It also may include aerobic exercise and
• Typically, aerobic exercise are done 3 to 5
days per week for 30 to 60 minutes.
• Examples of aerobic exercise are walking
(outside or on a treadmill), cycling,
rowing, or climbing stairs.
• Muscle-strengthening activities are done for 2
or 3 days per week.
• An exercise plan will show how many times to
repeat each exercise.
• Muscle-strengthening activities may include
lifting weights (hand weights, free weights, or
weight machines), using a wall pulley, or using
elastic bands to stretch and condition your
• Bicycles (stationary)
• Elastic bands
• Walking tracks
• EKG monitor
• BP cuff
• And much more…
Heart Healthy Diet
This diet will help the patient reach their rehab goals!
Heart Healthy Diet Guidelines -- you should eat:
•8-10% of the day's total calories from saturated fat.
•30% or less of the day’s total calories from fat.
•Less than 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol a day.
•Limit sodium intake to 2400 milligrams a day.
•Just enough calories to achieve or maintain a healthy
weight and reduce your blood cholesterol level.
(Ask your doctor or registered dietitian what is a
reasonable calorie level for you.)
Reducing Risk Factors to
Prevent Future Problems
Risk factors include high blood pressure,
high blood cholesterol, overweight or
obesity, diabetes, and smoking.
Talk with your table and come up with ways
that patients you can reduce the risk factor
that is handed to you.
FACT…Psychological factors increase the risk of
getting heart disease or make it worse.
FACT…Depression, anxiety, and anger are common
among people who have heart disease or have
had a MI or heart surgery.
FACT…Depression is linked to complications such as
irregular heartbeats, chest pain, a longer recovery
time, the need to return to the hospital, and even
an increased risk of death.
What types of things can you do to get the
most out of your rotation with Cardiac