Phases of Cardiac Rehabilitation

How Does the Rehabilitation Program Work?

Admission to the Institute's Cardiac Rehabilitation program is by your physician's referral and, in many cases, is covered by insurance.  Before you begin our program, we will verify whether you have coverage for cardiac rehabilitation and share this information with you.

Fitness goals are individualized for each patient in the Cardiac Rehabilitation program and take into account your general health condition, personal heart problem, risk for future heart problems, doctor's prescription, and your own preferences. 

Although many people know the importance of a heart-healthy lifestyle, few are sure of how to implement healthier ways of living. We offer information and assistance with meeting nutrition and exercise needs.  You will receive an individualized exercise program and cardiac diet meal plan, including heart-healthy recipes. We can also prescribe individualized lifestyle adjustments that can enhance your efforts to stay well and symptom-free.  Rehabilitation last between four and twelve weeks depending upon the needs of the patient.

Phase One begins in the medical center following a heart attack, heart surgery, or other heart treatment.  Our cardiac team will perform a thorough assessment including the patient's medical and family history.  Initial cardiac education, as well as introduction to Phase Two, is offered. 

Phase Two begins shortly after your discharge from the hospital, when you enter outpatient rehabilitation upon referral by your doctor.  This phase covers the design of an individualized exercise and nutritional program that will help you achieve specific goals.  Because reaching your fitness goals is important to your optimal recovery, members of the cardiac rehab team continually monitor your progress in the program.

Phase Three is an exercise program supervised by cardiac nurses, designed to transition cardiac rehab patients from the monitored Phase 2 program to independent exercise at the Washington Regional Center for Exercise and/or at home.

Phase Three-Four:  In many cases, advanced rehab patients opt to continue their rehabilitation program at the Washington Regional Center for Exercise.  The Center offers a Cardiac/COPD Phase Three-Four maintenance class, which is a supervised exercise program for individuals who have experienced a cardiac event/procedure or with pulmonary limitations.  The Center for Exercise provides a positive, non-threatening atmosphere with easy-to-use exercise equipment, professional guidance, and group support.  Activities are individualized for each client by Center staff members who are exercise physiologists with master's degrees, training and experience in exercise prescription for people with cardiopulmonary disease, diabetes, orthopedic problems and other chronic health problems.

The Center for Exercise Cardiac/COPD class offers:

  • Pulse and blood pressure monitoring
  • Personalized exercise program tailored to meet your goals and needs
  • Group support from others with similar experiences
  • Supplemental O2 (oxygen)
  • Professional exercise supervision

For more information about the program or to make an appointment, call the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at (479) 463-7220.