What is cardiac rehabilitation?
Cardiac rehabilitation is a program where health professionals support you and your family or carers with your heart problems.
What happens in cardiac rehabilitation
Cardiac rehabilitation can help you recover and get back to normal activities sooner. You'll get personalised advice to help you:
- adopt a healthy lifestyle
- feel more confident
- connect with people in similar situations
- prevent problems in the future.
You still need to see your doctor regularly while you're doing cardiac rehabilitation.
In cardiac rehabilitation sessions you can get support with:
- learning more about your heart condition and treatment
- getting back to your usual activities (e.g. work, driving, having sex)
- changing your lifestyle to improve your heart health
- managing your medicines
- stopping smoking
- knowing warning signs and what to do in an emergency.
You'll be able to ask questions about things that worry you, and get support if you feel stressed, anxious or depressed.
Ask if you can bring you partner or carer along. It can help them understand what you have gone through, and how they can look after themselves and support your recovery.
How cardiac rehabilitation programs work
Cardiac rehabilitation usually runs for 6 to 10 weeks. It often starts in hospital and continues when you go home. Programs can be run in different ways and places, for example:
- over the telephone
- on the internet
- in a group or one-on-one
- in hospitals, community centres or clinics
- in your home.
My heart, my life resource for patients
My heart, my life provides practical advice and assistance to help you understand how to manage your heart health and lifestyle.
- My heart my life - chapter 1 - My heart (PDF)
- My heart my life - chapter 2 - In hospital (PDF)
- My heart my life - chapter 3 - My recovery (PDF)
- My heart my life - chapter 4 - Services and support (PDF)
- My heart my life - chapter 5 - Take action (PDF)
My heart, my life app
A free mobile app that helps you manage your medicines and health stats like blood pressure and cholesterol. Also learn about heart attack warning signs and what to do. Download now
- Download: All you need to know — Cardiac rehabilitation booklet (PDF)
- Manage your medication with our free app
- Physical activity after a heart attack posters (PDF)
Overview of cardiac rehabilitation
Here is a short video of cardiac rehabilitation and why it's an important component of your road to recovery following a heart event (3:05).
Freda's story about the importance of cardiac rehabilitation
Are you struggling after your heart attack? Watch this short video on Freda's story and it might help you decide if cardiac rehabilitation is right for you (4:20).
Recovering from a heart attack?
Heart Foundation Helpline
We are here to answer your questions. Call 13 11 12 and talk to one of our qualified heart health professionals. If you need an interpreter, call 131 450 and ask for the Heart Foundation.
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