A Program with Heart: How Cardiac Rehabilitation Supports Patients

A Program with Heart: How Cardiac Rehabilitation Supports Patients

Valley’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program was designed specifically for people who have had a significant heart event or condition. The program offers medically supervised and individualized exercise programs in a safe, supportive environment. Learn more about Cardiac Rehabilitation at Valley (often referred to as Cardiac Rehab) and if it might be right for you.

What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?
Cardiac Rehabilitation is a 12-week, medically supervised program designed to promote recovery following cardiac events and to reduce risk factors related to cardiovascular disease. Registered nurses and exercise physiologists work with program participants to tailor an individualized exercise program and provide education around nutrition, stress management, and safe and effective exercise.

“As an Exercise Specialist, I have the privilege of working with patients to take control of their health and make a lasting impact on their life. Our team empowers patients physically through exercise and connects with them emotionally by developing relationships and building trust. Cardiac Rehab guides patients to build habits such as engaging in safe exercise, utilizing proper nutrition appropriate to their condition, and much more. The tools patients gain in our program have the power to prevent another cardiac event from occurring, which is extremely important not only to our patients, but also to our team.” -Shweta Mohan, Exercise Specialist

The program’s goal is to give patients the power to make meaningful health behavior change and to see the value of exercise and other self-care strategies on their cardiovascular function and overall health. People who complete cardiac rehab reduce their risk of mortality by up to 31%, and current outcomes at the program show significant improvements in strength (+9%) and aerobic endurance (+40%). Other benefits include fewer symptoms like angina (chest pain) and dyspnea (shortness of breath), reduced resting blood pressure and heart rates, improved quality of life and stress management skills, and reduced risk of having another cardiac-related hospitalization.

Who should participate in Cardiac Rehabilitation?
Cardiac Rehabilitation is appropriate for anyone who has had a recent cardiovascular event or diagnosis. If you have had a heart attack, chest pain, cardiac surgery including bypass or valve surgery, stent placement, heart failure, heart transplant, or peripheral vascular disease, you qualify for Cardiac Rehabilitation. If you have had any of the above diagnoses in the past 12 months, ask your cardiologist or primary care doctor for a referral to Cardiac Rehabilitation.

What do patients do in Cardiac Rehabilitation?
Valley offers Cardiac Rehabilitation in a state-of-the-art, class-based format designed to provide an exceptional level of safety and quality. The following features provide context about what happens in the program:

  • Class-Based Format: Participants attend Cardiac Rehabilitation “class,” which is typically one hour in length and performed with up to 10 or more other participants.
  • Reviewing Progress & Goal Setting: At the initial appointment and every 30 days following, participants perform a short series of exercise tests to measure current fitness and assess progress made in the program. Results from testing are reviewed with the participants to guide goal setting for the next 30 days.
  • Cardiac Monitoring: The program utilizes multiple cardiac monitoring systems to supervise heart rhythm and provide participants feedback on exercise intensity and safety. This includes EKG telemetry, along with a heart rate display system called TeamBeats that allows patients to see their heart rate live while exercising anywhere in the facility.
  • Exercise Class: During exercise class, participants perform cardiovascular exercise, strengthening exercise, and light stretching for up to a total of 45 minutes. Even though the program is performed in a class format, the exercise prescription is individualized for each participant based on a prescription from the exercise physiology staff. The facility is equipped with Technogym’s Biocircuit, a resistance training circuit that provides participants a tool to perform safe, effective resistance training, along with aerobic machines designed to be used by participants of all ability levels.
  • Education: Trained staff provide participants tools for independence by teaching them to monitor their own heart rates and make changes to their exercise routine. Once each week, a 15-minute education course on cardiovascular risk factors and self-management is provided in an open-discussion format.

Learn more about Valley’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program.

Pictured from left: Alex Cannon, Exercise Specialist; Shweta Mohan, Exercise Specialist; Stephanie Dickson, RN; In Jun Kim, Exercise Specialist; Laurie Luu, RN

About The Author

Valley Medical Center's Marketing and Community Outreach Office


  1. Jimmie

    I WANT MY LIFE BACK….I want to learn more how to take care of my heart. this would help me with my Irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath. I have anxiety and its hard to manage it sometimes with medication. I don’t sleep well at all, so I stay awake every night worrying about everything and my health problems too. i am 70 years old, on a very fixed income and cant afford professionally help. I know I need to learn take care of myself better, IN A MANNER I CAN AFFORD. PLEASE HELP ME WITH GETTING MY LIFE BACK, IM SO READY. THANK YOU

    1. Valley Communications

      Thank you for reading our blog and for reaching out. A primary care provider (PCP) would be a great resource. If you are in need of a PCP, you can find one who is accepting new patients at valleymed.org/pcp. If our cardiac rehab program is determined to be the right fit for you by your PCP, most insurance and Medicare plans cover the initial phase.

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