Cardiac Rehabilitation and What It Entails

Posted on April 13, 2018

EKG concept

Medically Supervised

Cardiac rehabilitation is an individualized, medically supervised program to help you regain and improve your cardiovascular fitness after a heart-related medical event such as a heart attack or bypass surgery. It may be provided in an outpatient setting, or in a hospital rehab center. You’re teamed with specialists who understand your condition and how to best help you, with the assurance that you’re in a safe setting with trained professionals on hand.


One of the first things encountered in a cardiac rehab program is compiling a medical history and undergoing a physical exam and a number of tests. These tests may include a treadmill or stationary bike exercise test and electrocardiogram (EKG), cardiac imaging, and blood work, such as blood sugar and cholesterol levels.


An important component of cardiac rehab is education, where you learn important and helpful facts about your medical condition, your overall health, and how to improve them. You'll learn about healthy lifestyle choices such as food and nutrition, overcoming bad habits such as smoking, how to reduce your stress, and how to safely and comfortably add exercise to your life.


Cardio rehab is a team effort where you work closely with your team, which may consist of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, nutritionists or dieticians, and a pharmacist. You may also work with a mental health care specialist to help resolve any stress related issues that may be aggravating your heart condition. Family and friends are another big part of a rehab program, and their support can go a long way to help you make a full recovery and live a full and happy life.

Cardio stress test

Lifestyle Changes

One of the things taught in cardio rehab is how to exercise safely. This improves your cardiovascular health, assist with weight problems, and improve your overall health and fitness. You’ll also learn how to increase your exercise safely. Your team works closely with you to monitor your progress and help you to successfully implement recommended lifestyle changes.

Diet and Nutrition

Diet and nutrition are a big part of cardiac rehab. A dietician or nutritionist can work with you to evaluate your current diet, educate you about healthy eating and any special diet your doctor may recommend, and help you make these changes in a way that works for you.

Insurance Concerns

Cardiac rehabilitation programs are individualized, and not everyone needs the same level or length of care. Medicare and most insurance policies cover a standard twelve-week program consisting of 36 visits to the rehab clinic. How long you attend rehab depends on your condition and how well you progress.

Peconic Bay Medical Center offers advanced cardiology treatment in Long Island, NY, to help you regain your health and live a long and fulfilling life.