Cardiac Rehab


What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation is a branch of rehabilitation medicine dealing with optimizing physical function in patients with heart diseases. It is a comprehensive exercise, education, and behavioral modification program designed to improve the physical and emotional condition of patients with cardiac disease and to prevent recurrence of cardiac events.

KIH Cardiac Rehabilitation

It is an organized approach to achieve aims and is integrated into the routine management of all patients. KIH Cardiac rehabilitation includes, and complements, the support and individual medical care given by specialists and general practitioners. Rehab programs include exercise training and education on heart healthy living to help you return to an active life. They are tailored to meet the individual and cultural needs of the patient and their family.

KIH Cardiac rehabilitation services
Personalized and friendly services are provided by a highly skilled inter-professional team of healthcare professionals, who specialize in cardiac rehabilitation, wellness and prevention

KIH Cardiac Rehabilitation Team

  • The Cardiac specialist
  • The Physical Therapist
  • The Nurse
  • The Dietician or Nutritionist

Who can benefit?

Individuals who have any of the following disorders;

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart attack
  • Angioplasty
  • Heart surgery
  • Valve surgery
  • Congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • Other heart conditions (i.e. Stable angina, pacemaker)
  • Cardiac Transplant Surgery
  • Other vascular conditions (i.e. stroke, peripheral arterial disease)
  • Metabolic Syndrome Pulmonary disease
  • High risk of heart disease (i.e. family history, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, smoking, lack of physical activity, and depression and other emotional health concerns.
  • Prolonged hospitalization due to miscellaneous conditions

Aims of KIH Cardiac Rehabilitation

  1. Maximize physical and social functioning to enable people with cardiac disease to lead fulfilling lives with confidence.
  2. Introduce and encourage behaviors that may minimize the risk of further cardiac events and conditions.
  3. Adopt healthy lifestyle changes and Improve health and quality of life.
  4. Facilitate and shorten the period of recovery after an acute cardiac event.
  5. Promote strategies for achieving mutually agreed goals of ongoing prevention.
  6. Develop and maintain skills for long-term behavior change and self-management.
  7. Promote appropriate use of health and community services including concordance with prescribed medications and professional advice.


Rehab activities vary depending on your condition. If you’re recovering from cardiac event, rehab will start with a physiotherapist helping you to sit up in a chair or take a few steps. You will work on range-of-motion exercises. These include moving your fingers, hands, arms, legs, and feet. Over time you will increase your activity level. Once you leave the hospital, rehab will continue in a rehab center. You will need to go to rehab regularly to learn how to reduce risk factors and to begin an exercise program.


Cardiac rehab continues on a regular basis for 2 to 6 months. During this time, you learn how to:

  •   Increase your physical activity and exercise safely.
  •   Follow a heart healthy eating plan.
  • Reduce risk factors for future heart problems.
  • Improve your emotional health

The KIH Cardiac Rehab Program:

KIH Cardiac Rehabilitation is divided into four phases. These phases are conducted under the supervision of consultant cardiologists & skilled rehab therapists.

Phase 1 (In-patient)
Inpatient rehabilitation begins as soon as possible after admission to hospital. The inpatient rehabilitation and education program focuses on:

  • Inpatient rehabilitation begins as soon as possible after admission to hospital. The inpatient rehabilitation and education program focuses on:
  • Exercises and Resumption of activities of daily living.

The rehabilitation program balances the risks of premature activity with the deleterious effects associated with continued bed rest. It also promotes self-confidence. It usually commences within 24 hours of admission and can be quite rapid. The inpatient rehabilitation program aims for a progressive increase in activity so that the patient can be independent in basic self-care at the time of discharge.
Early mobilization programs will vary according to individual patient need and hospital protocols. The rate of progress through a program will depend on factors such as co-morbidity, age, habitual activity, surgical or medical condition and specific medical instructions. In some situations, e.g. uncomplicated myocardial infarction, cardiac surgery or coronary angioplasty, some stages may be notional and mobilization may be achieved in a single day. In more complicated conditions, e.g. cardiac failure, mobilization may be much slower.

Phase 2 (out-patient)

Structured outpatient cardiac rehabilitation is a recognized focal point at KIH for the development of a life-long approach to prevention. Empowering the patient to adopt self-management strategies is a key objective of KIH Outpatient Cardiac Rehabilitation. Monitored Low or moderate intensity physical Activity Patients who need cardiac strengthening are referred by their physician, and need not have completed Phase 1. Before entering our program, a health history and the results of an exercise stress test are needed to develop a person exercise prescription. This phase lasts 2-3 weeks with hour-long monitored exercise sessions, daily or on alternate basis. Each patient’s progress is reviewed often, and the exercise plan is adjusted as the heart/lung capacity improves. Each physician is also advised of their patient’s progress. At the completion of this phase, another stress test is performed to measure your overall success.

Phase 3 (Ongoing prevention )

Patients who have participated in Phase II and wish to maintain cardiac fitness may take advantage of Phase III. Exercise sessions are conducted much like those in Phase II, with each patient now accepting further responsibility for self-monitoring and record keeping. Phase III sessions meet for one hour, three times a week. Phase II and III also include a weekly educational component at the end of an exercise hour. These “mini-seminars” are conducted by our Cardiac Rehab team, offering a rang of practical, heart healthy information. Family members are invited to attend any or all of these sessions with their loved one.

Phase 4 (maintenance of physical activity and lifestyle change)

Following a minimum of six months in Phase III, patients may continue their exercise regime indefinitely in Phase IV. This phase is an unmonitored “open” exercise program where Cardiac Rehab patients may continue exercising on their own. Services offered in this period have an emphasis on supporting behaviors that decrease the risk of future cardiovascular events. This involves sustained activities and behaviors to reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors. Healthy nutrition, an active lifestyle, and being a non-smoker are key lifestyle factors supported in ongoing prevention programs. The importance of continuing with prescribed medications is also reinforced during this time. This ongoing approach is not necessary or required for all patients. However, some people may require regular, consistent, up-to-date information as well as further skills training for behavior change, relapse prevention and self-management.
KIH offers a range of structured ongoing prevention programs is now being offered to support the ongoing prevention and management that general practitioners and specialists provide.


Cardiac rehab has many benefits. It can:

  • Improves exercise tolerance and strength
  • Decrease pain and the need for medicines to treat heart or chest pain
  • Reduces blood fat levels
  • Improves psychological well-being
  • Improves quality of life
  • Speeds ability to return to work
  • Increases awareness of cardiac risk factors
  • Reduces stress
  • Decreases cardiovascular morbidity
  • People who receive help for their emotional health and also start an exercise program can improve their overall health. They can lower their blood pressure and heart rate. They also can lower their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and raise their HDL (“good”) cholesterol. These people are less likely to die or have another heart attack.
  • Treatment for emotional health also can help some people quit smoking.

The lifestyle changes that you make during cardiac rehab have few risks. At first, physical activity is safer in the rehab setting than at home. Members of the rehab team are trained and have experience teaching people with heart problems how to exercise. Your rehab team will watch you to make sure you’re safe. They will check your blood pressure several times during your exercise training. They also use an telemetry to see how your heart reacts and adapts to exercise. After some training, most people learn to exercise safely at home. Very rarely, physical activity during rehab causes serious problems. These problems may include injuries to your muscles and/or bones, or heart rhythm problems that can lead to death or recurrent heart attack.

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