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Cardiac Rehabilitation is a total program for heart health. It is designed specifically for each patient by a team of cardiac specialists, your physician, nurses and exercise physiologists. These professionals closely monitor your progress to make sure the rehab program is safe.

You can benefit from cardiac rehab if, within the last year, you have had: 1) heart disease, such as angina or heart attack; 2) coronary artery bypass surgery; 3) angioplasty or stent placement; or 4) a heart transplant.

The Components of Cardiac Rehab

Cardiac rehab has five components:

  • Medical Evaluation
    A thorough evaluation helps your health care team assess your physical abilities, medical limitations and other conditions you may have. The findings help your team tailor a cardiac rehabilitation program to your individual situation, making sure it’s safe and effective.
  • Exercise
    Regular physical activity is tailored to your ability, needs and interests.You may be asked to have a stress test before beginning a cardiac rehab exercise program to assess your current health and how your heart responds to exercise. The results of this test help your rehab team design an exercise program that is safe and effective.
  • Education
    Learn about your heart problem, its causes and treatment, and how you can manage it.
  • Counseling
    Advice on why and how to change your lifestyle to lower your risk of future heart problems.
  • Behavior Change
    Learn specific skills to enable you to stop unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, and begin healthy behaviors such as eating a heart-healthy diet.

Medicare and supplemental insurance usually cover the cost of cardiac rehab.