Cardiac rehabilitation is a structured exercise and educational program for people recovering from a heart condition. Our professional team of registered nurses, exercise physiologists, dietitians, pharmacists, spiritual support, and—when needed—diabetes educators, help contribute to your recovery. Working together with you and your doctor, they design an individualized program to meet your fitness goals.

The program usually consists of:

  • Supervised exercise training
  • Assistance with home exercise program
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Stress management
  • Psychological counseling
  • Relaxation training
  • Lifestyle modification
  • Education

Program Phases

Phase I (inpatient)

Phase I therapy begins during your hospitalization. A team member introduces a program of progressive exercises to regain your strength and help you become strong enough to leave the hospital. You and your family are educated on procedures you have had and our team teaches you how to reduce your risk of having more problems with coronary artery disease. The team also helps with questions about the transition from hospital to home.

Phase II (outpatient; 36 sessions over about 12 weeks)

Once out of the hospital, you will continue to work on getting stronger. Phase II involves attending an exercise program supervised by our Cardiac Rehabilitation staff and your doctor on an outpatient basis, three times a week. An individualized exercise prescription is written for you, and each session includes an educational component. We send written updates regularly, and make phone calls as needed, to your physician.

During these sessions, your blood pressure and oxygen saturation levels are monitored and you wear a heart monitor. Your progress in this program is carefully recorded. As you progress, we gradually increase the intensity and duration of your exercise. The Cardiac Rehab staff also instructs you in incision care, and helps you to quickly identify any complications that might arise.

This phase lasts about two to three months.

Phase III (outpatient; rehabilitation and fitness)

When you reach this phase, the staff and your doctor have determined that you can safely perform exercises and understand risk factor modification techniques. You are given the opportunity to exercise in the lab but are allowed more control over the types of exercise that you like to do. The Cardiac Rehab staff assists you with your exercise, but you are required to wear a heart monitor only once a month. You’re able to incorporate not only aerobic exercise but also weight training in your exercise program. It is vital to your physical well-being that you commit to a lifelong exercise plan and eat a heart-healthy diet.

For the first time, EIRMC has received the Cardiac Rehab Certification from the American Association of Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACVPR). The certification looks at several facets of proper care of heart patients in rehab such as program safety, medical oversight, personalized exercise prescription, policies and procedures.