Cardiac rehabilitation and prevention is designed to help lower your risk and delay progression of heart disease through physical activity, exercise and other lifestyle modifications.

What is cardiac rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation is a program to help you to be more active and make lifestyle changes that can lead to a stronger heart and better health. Our cardiac rehabilitation teams guide you through healthy heart education classes and supervised exercise programs to help you to feel better and reduce your risk of future heart problems.

Our cardiac rehabilitation program also allows people to interact with others who have similar issues. This can help you grow more confident in your ability to go back to your daily activities and hobbies. Cardiac rehabilitation programs can help you with questions such as, "Where do I start?" "How much is enough?" and "What is safe for me?"

Who can attend the cardiac rehabilitation program?

People with many types of heart disease can benefit from cardiac rehab. Anyone who has been diagnosed with a heart condition, whether clogged arteries, a heart attack or another condition related to the heart or vascular system, can participate. Anyone who has one or more modifiable risk factors for heart disease (such as high blood pressure or cholesterol, diabetes or obesity, or people who are sedentary or smokers) can also attend a healthy heart program to learn about exercise and other life style changes to help reduce their risk of developing heart disease.

Your doctor may suggest cardiac rehab if you have experienced:

What will I do in the cardiac rehabilitation program?

Learning how to exercise right for your heart health is a big part of cardiac rehab. So you will begin with a full physical checkup, which may include tests such as an electrocardiogram (ECG) and exercise treadmill test. These tests will help your team design an exercise program just for you.

In cardiac rehab you will learn to:

  • Exercise safely
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Manage diabetes
  • Quit smoking
  • Lose weight
  • Eat a heart healthy diet
  • Take medicine correctly and safely
  • Reduce stress, anxiety and depression
  • Improve your overall health and quality of life
  • Recover well after surgery
  • Manage symptoms of heart disease and lower your risk of a heart attack

What are the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation?

A key component of the cardiac rehabilitation program is helping people with heart disease reduce their future risk and maintain their heart health with exercise. Exercise is a form of treatment that impacts the outcome of many chronic diseases. It helps lower all the risk factors associated with heart and vascular disease and is a great therapy which complements traditional medical care. Many doctors are prescribing exercise as part of treatment of chronic disease.

Regular exercise and physical activity increases people’s quality of life by improving their strength and stamina. It can also help you recover well after heart surgery. With consistent exercise many people find they feel better about themselves and what they are able to do, allowing them to lead fulfilling and independent lives for longer. Patients often wonder how much exercise is enough to reap the health and heart benefits. Here is a guide:

  • Start slow and gradually build your way up to the minimum amount of recommended cardiovascular exercise: 150 minutes per week of walking, biking, rowing or similar cardiovascular activity.
  • Do strength training two days per week, covering all the major muscle groups with the goal of maintaining your strength into old age.
  • Stretch three to seven days a week with the goal of maintaining the full range of movement of your joints and muscles and retaining your balance and coordination as you age.

Who will I meet on my cardiac rehabilitation team?

Our cardiac rehabilitation program is staffed by a team of health care professionals, including:

  • Cardiologists
  • Registered nurses
  • Exercise specialists
  • Exercise leaders
  • Registered dieticians
  • Pharmacists
  • Social workers
  • Mental health therapists
  • Physiotherapists

Where can I find a cardiac rehabilitation program near me?

You can find a cardiac rehabilitation program in the following communities in Fraser Health:

Abbotsford Regional Hospital
32900 Marshall Road, Abbotsford
604-851-4700 ext. 642631

  • Education classes
  • Supervised exercise classes

Burnaby Hospital
3935 Kincaid Street, Burnaby

  • Education classes offered in English
  • Supervised exercise classes

Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre
9750 140th Street, Surrey

  • Education classes offered in English and Punjabi
  • Supervised exercise classes

Vine Avenue Clinics – Peace Arch Campus
15455 Vine Avenue
White Rock 

  • Education classes
  • Supervised exercise classes

Royal Columbian Hospital
330 E Columbia St, New Westminster

  • Education classes