Cardiac Rehabilitation is a program that combines exercise, information sessions as well as psychological and emotional support carried out by health professionals after a heart attack, heart surgery or procedure.

It forms an important part of your journey yet many men and women aren’t aware of this program or don’t make the time to attend formal programs.

Cardiac rehabilitation usually runs for 6-10 weeks, some of the initial information is given in hospital and then continues when the individual goes home. These services are offered in a variety of different ways such as:

  • Face to face
  • Over the phone
  • Via the internet
  • In a group or one-on-one
  • In hospitals, community centres or clinics
  • In your home

Cardiac rehabilitation services are an important part of recovery and can help you identify risk factors, as well as lifestyle changes. Creating goals and strategies that will help you reduce your risk in the long term. These can include:

  • Adopting a healthy lifestyle
  • Connect with people in similar situations
  • Prevent problems in the future

During cardiac rehabilitation sessions, you can share any anxieties you might have, for example returning to work and get the necessary help if you feel anxious or stressed. These sessions can also support with:

  • Learning more and understanding about your heart condition
  • Getting back to your usual activities (eg. work, driving)
  • Knowing the warning signs and what to do in an emergency
  • Managing medication

If you want more information about Cardiac Rehabilitation, you may find the following resources useful:

Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation AssociationRehabilitation Directory

British Heart Foundation – Cardiac rehabilitation: your questions answered

American Heart Association – Cardiac Rehab 101

The Heart Foundation – What is cardiac rehabilitation?

Medline Plus – Cardiac Rehabilitation