How Cardiac Rehabilitation Can Help Heal Your Heart?

How Cardiac Rehabilitation Can Help Heal Your Heart?

Last Reviewed : 12/29/2020
How Cardiac Rehabilitation Can Help Heal Your Heart?


  • A cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) program takes place in a hospital or in the community. Cardiac rehab is for patients to get stronger and better after heart problems or heart surgery. 
  • Nearly 800,000 people in the United States have a heart attack every year. Cardiac rehab not only can help a person recover from a heart problem, but it can also prevent another heart problem in the future.


Who needs a Cardiac Rehab program?

Many people of all ages who have the following heart conditions can benefit from a cardiac rehab program.

• A heart attack, coronary artery disease (CAD), angina or heart failure.

• Heart procedures or surgeries, including coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, angioplasty, stenting, valve replacement, a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD).

Some programs are done in a hospital or rehabilitation center, while some programs can be done in the patient’s home. Cardiac rehab programs usually last about three months but can range anywhere from two to eight months.

What happens in a Rehab program?

Rehab programs can help change lifestyle habits. During your rehabilitation program medical evaluation is done to figure out needs and limitations. Exercise is started slowly by following a safe physical activity program that gradually helps you become stronger by treadmill, bike, rowing machine or walking/jogging track etc. Then with gradual movement into a more intensive program that lets you work longer and harder. You will be closley monitored for change in symptoms by a nurse or another healthcare professional.

Many people find that rehab programs are very helpful after getting out of a hospital.

How does Cardiac Rehab help? 

Cardiac rehab can have many benefits to health in both the short and long-term, including:

  • Strengthening your heart and body after a heart attack.
  • Relieving symptoms of heart problems, such as chest pain.
  • Building healthier habits, including getting more physical activity, quitting smoking, and eating a heart-healthy diet. A
  • Reducing stress.
  • Improving your mood. People are more likely to feel depressed after a heart attack. Cardiac rehab can help prevent and lessen depression.
  • Increasing your energy and strength, making daily activities easier, such as carrying groceries and climbing stairs.
  • Preventing future heart problems and death. Studies have found that cardiac rehab decreases the chances you will die in the five years following a heart attack or bypass surgery by around 20% to 30%.


Source:  American Heart Association, Center for disease control and prevention. 

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