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Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation is a comprehensive exercise, education, and behavioral modification program designed to improve the physical and emotional condition of patients with heart disease. Heart attack survivors, bypass and angioplasty patients, and individuals with angina, congestive heart failure, and heart transplants are all candidates for a cardiac rehabilitation program. Cardiac rehabilitation will help control symptoms, improve exercise tolerance, and improve the overall quality of life.

At Total Rehab, our cardiac rehabilitation services include:

  • Heart rate monitoring

  • Blood pressure monitoring

  • Blood oxygen monitoring

  • EKG monitoring

  • Education on lifestyle modification

  • Designing exercise programs

  • Social support

  • Nutritional counseling


Cardiac Rehabilitation is a service offered at Total Rehabilitation Centre. People are sometimes unclear as to what it is all about, so here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

  • What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?


It is a professionally supervised program to help individuals recover from any type of heart episode, such as heart attacks, CABG, stenting , angioplasty, CAD, valve replacement, pacemaker. It is a multi-faceted program ranging from physical activity, nutritional education, psychological assistance, smoking cessation and social support.  At Total Rehabilitation we focus on physical activity and nutritional education, but can refer to professionals in our network to assist with the latter three. 

  • When can I start cardiac rehab and for how long will I have to do it?


The patient’s heart problem will determine how soon he/she can begin a supervised exercise program. A person post CABG needs to wait at least 2-3 months before beginning a supervised exercise program whereas a patient post angioplasty has to wait 2 weeks.  At the beginning of the program the patient is assessed to determine what is the best exercise prescription for him/her. Prescription usually requires 2-3 visits/week for 3-6 months and consists of cardiovascular and resistance training.  Blood pressure and heart rate are usually measured before, during and after each session.  


  • What exactly happens during a session at Total Rehabilitation? 

This varies depending on the individual’s problem. Initially a session will consist of simple cardiovascular exercises like walking on a treadmill, riding a stationary bike or bouncing on a ball plus breathing techniques and some light stretching. The first few sessions of a program may last 10-30mins but this increases as a patient’s fitness increases.  The type of heart problem will determine when a patient can begin resistance training. Resistance training may consist of using his/her own bodyweight or dumbbells or resistance machinery.  The ultimate goal is for a patient to be able to perform 30-40mins of moderate cardiovascular exercise 3-4 times per week and resistance training 2-3 times per week without any difficulty or discomfort.  

During a visit, a patient will meet other individuals who have experienced similar heart problems so they are able to exchange stories, create bonds, and give advice. This social support helps in the healing process.  During any given session, the patients and Lorraine, our clinical exercise physiologist and cardiac rehabilitation specialist, will discuss a wide range of topics such as different methods used to stop bad habits, what worked best, the side effects of their drugs. Patients may even find themselves discussing world issues and politics! These discussions not only provide patients with information but also offer some distraction to help get through the exercises, and make their sessions enjoyable. 

  • What are the benefits of this program?


These managed programs provide the patient with a greater chance for a successful recovery. The patient improves physical fitness, reduces cardiac symptoms, improves health, and reduces risk of future heart problems.

Exercise is very important for everyone. It improves the body’s strength and fitness. It helps prevent and control diseases such as diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure and arthritis.  So keep exercising! Exercise does not take time from your life…it puts life into your time!!!

For further information feel free to call us at 675-4973.

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