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Starting a Cardiac Rehab Program After Bypass Surgery

Woman walking on a treadmill. A physical therapist is standing next to her and watching.

A cardiac rehab program can take place in a hospital, a clinic, or a doctor's office.  You'll work with a team of specialists. Your team may include doctors, nurses, exercise specialists, dietitians, and counselors. Cardiac rehab can help you get back into your normal routine after surgery. It also provides tools to improve your overall health for the rest of your life.

Program components

A cardiac rehab program includes the following:

  • Exercise. You'll learn how to exercise safely. Your program will include exercises to increase fitness, endurance, and strength.

  • Nutrition education. You'll work with a dietitian to learn the best ways to eat for heart health. You'll also learn ways to use this knowledge when you shop, cook, and eat out.

  • Help managing risk factors. You'll learn about controlling related conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

  • Counseling. You'll get help dealing with the emotional aspects of CAD and treatment. This may include help with depression and anxiety. It may also include practical advice and support for quitting smoking, losing weight, being physically active, and continuing your sex life.

  • Family education. Your family can learn with you. That way, they can help you to continue using your new skills and knowledge after you finish the program. 

Online Medical Reviewer: Louise Akin, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith, RN, MSN, FNP, CCRC
Last Review Date: 9/10/2013
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