Overview

Cardiac rehabilitation, also called cardiac rehab, is a customized outpatient program of exercise and education. Cardiac rehabilitation is designed to help you improve your health and help you recover from a heart attack, other forms of heart disease or surgery to treat heart disease.

Cardiac rehabilitation often involves exercise training, emotional support and education about lifestyle changes to reduce your heart disease risk, such as eating a heart-healthy diet, keeping a healthy weight and quitting smoking.

The goals of cardiac rehabilitation include establishing an individualized plan to help you regain strength, preventing your condition from worsening, reducing your risk of future heart problems, and improving your health and quality of life.

Research has found that cardiac rehabilitation programs can reduce your risk of death from heart disease and reduce your risk of future heart problems. The American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology recommend cardiac rehabilitation programs.

Mayo Clinic's approach

Aug. 09, 2017
References
  1. Cardiac rehabilitation. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/rehab#. Accessed Feb. 8, 2017.
  2. What is cardiac rehab? American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/CardiacRehab/What-is-Cardiac-Rehabilitation_UCM_307049_Article.jsp. Accessed Feb. 8, 2017.
  3. Braun LT, et al. Cardiac rehabilitation programs. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 8, 2017.
  4. Wenger NK, et al. Cardiac rehabilitation: Indications, efficacy, and safety in patients with coronary heart disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Feb. 8, 2017.
  5. Anderson L, et al. Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation for coronary heart disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001800.pub3/abstract. Accessed Feb. 20, 2017.
  6. Bonow RO, et al., eds. Exercise-based, comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation. In: Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Feb. 20, 2017.
  7. Digital health tool helps cardiac rehab patients shed more pounds. American College of Cardiology. http://www.acc.org/about-acc/press-releases/2016/03/24/12/48/digital-health-tool-helps-cardiac-rehab-patients-shed-more-pounds?w_nav=S. Accessed Feb. 17, 2017.
  8. Brewer LC, et al. The use of virtual world-based cardiac rehabilitation to encourage healthy lifestyle choices among cardiac patients: Intervention development and pilot study protocol. JMIR Research Protocols. 2015;4:e39.
  9. Lopez-Jimenez F (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 1, 2017.