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Cardiac Rehab-Need Help


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Anyone been on a cardiac rehab program? I am interested in this and talked generically to the Dr's at Vanderbilt about it. They were in favor of it. When I got home and talked to my cardiologist about it he was telling me about their cardiac rehab program and it sounds too gruelling for folks like us.

He says their program starts out with 5 days a week for 1 hour a day and they rotate activities while monitoring your heart rate...cycling, rowing, walking, running etc.

I don't see any way I could go for one hour every day (he says they make you rest if your heart rate gets above a certain point so it's not that you truly exercise 1 hr).

The impression I had from others is that we need to start out much slower than what my cardiologist is describing.

Has anyone here tried cardiac rehab? If so, what exercise was involved and how did you proceed with the program?

I already went through Physical therapy where we worked on resistance and leg strengthening.

Any input would be appreciated.


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I went to cardiac rehab last year but I had to stop for 2 reasons. There was no personel checking me over and since the equipment was very close I did not want to injure myself while fainting. Also, I had to cross 2 busy streets to get in the building and I had fainted 3 times crossing the street (within one month) so I felt that I had enough of it.

I tried to get someone to accompany me but I did not find anyone so I gave up after a month.

I then decided to buy a recumbent bike and a treadmill and do my training at home at my pace. I helps me more than at the center because I don't tire myself just getting there.

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I don't go to cardiac rehab, but I do go to Physical Therapy for more than an hour 3x a week. We rotate which of the aerobic activities I do, and also do strength training for upper body, core and lower body. I do the hand bike, exercise bike and treadmill. When I'm further along, perhaps they'll add the eliptical and/or the stair climber. We'll see.

The training has made a bid difference in my stamina.


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Hi Pooh,

You're right; that program sounds really exhausting! I'm currently in my third month of cardiac rehab at the cleveland clinic. Ernie's right, it is sometimes tough to get there, but if you have someone who can help you, i'd say it's totally worth it. My program is only 3 times a week (an hour each time...though i don't exercise for an hour). I am on a heart monitor the entire time, and they check my BP at least 3 times (beginning, middle and end) and more times if i seem to be having a "problem." I also "rate my dizziness" for them so they know how bad i'm feeling through out. If i start to feel like i can't continue, i simply stop and lie down. Even if i don't have any specific problem, i always have to lie down when i'm done walking. Recently they have added some light leg weights which i think have been really helpful. I want to emphasize that a good program will encourage you to do only what your symptoms will allow. Some days i'm able to do a lot more than others. It's really great that i am not pushed. Also, i felt better on the treadmill than on the stationary bike, so they never forced me to do the bike again. I've always been glad that I could have a say in my program. PM me if you have any more questions...i'd be happy to tell you more.


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