Treatments & Procedures

A Quick Guide to Cardiac Rehabilitation

What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?

The aim of Cardiac Rehabilitation is to provide a comprehensive program of exercise and education that will help you recover and return to be as active in life as possible.

Cardiac Rehabilitation has been proven to be beneficial in improving quality of life, clinical outcomes, overall fitness levels, as well as reducing hospital readmission rates.

If you have experienced a cardiac event, such as a heart attack, cardiac surgery, coronary angioplasty or cardiac transplant, you may be enrolled into a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. This is a combined exercise and educational program which is specifically designed to improve your physical, emotional, and psychological health through exercise, education and risk factor modification/ management.

Who can attend Cardiac Rehabilitation?

If you have had any of the following medical conditions or procedures, you may be eligible to attend Cardiac Rehabilitation:

  • Heart attack
  • Coronary angioplasty
  • Coronary stenting
  • Stable angina
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Valve surgery
  • Heart transplant
  • Permanent pacemaker insertion
  • Internal cardiac defibrillator insertion
  • Stable heart failure
  • Peripheral arterial disease

Cardiac Rehabilitation can also help if you have other conditions, such as cardiomyopathy or congenital heart disease.

If you need any clarification on our Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, please do not hesitate to speak to a member of our team.

Who is part of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Team?

  • Cardiac physician
  • Cardiac rehabilitation physical therapist
  • Cardiac rehabilitation physical therapy assistants
  • Cardiac rehabilitation nurse
  • Dietitian
  • Pharmacist and others as needed

What happens in Cardiac Rehabilitation?


During Cardiac Rehabilitation, your fitness level is assessed and an exercise program will be prescribed based on your fitness level and needs.


Educational sessions are provided by members of the Cardiac Rehabilitation team. The aim of these is to educate you and any attending family/friends about your condition and how to successfully manage it. This will be done in conjunction with your physician’s recommendations.

You will learn about the risk factors associated with the development of heart disease and peripheral arterial disease. Your specific risk factors will be identified and you will be advised on how to manage these risk factors in order to reduce your risk of future cardiac or vascular events.

These risk factors include, but are not limited to: smoking; high blood pressure; excess alcohol consumption; overweight and obesity; high cholesterol; unhealthy diet; stress; being physically inactive; and diabetes.

When shall I start Cardiac Rehabilitation?

For some, Cardiac Rehabilitation may have already began before admission to the hospital. You may have already stopped smoking or began to improve your lifestyle. However, for the majority, it begins once you enter the hospital.

Cardiac Rehabilitation is divided into three phases:


Begins in the hospital and involves educational sessions and supervised physical activity.


This phase is provided on an outpatient basis in the purpose-designed Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit. You will be given an individually-prescribed exercise program based on your functional capacity and health status. During your exercise session, your heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored and you will be supervised by a healthcare professional. You will also have the opportunity to attend education sessions which will be provided by members of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Team. Educational topics include: understanding your condition; how your medication works and why it is important; understanding and managing your risk factors; and benefits of exercise.


This is a long-term maintenance program designed specifically to help you maintain a lifelong healthy lifestyle.

The Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit

In order to attend the Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi you will need an assessment and internal referral by one of our cardiac physicians.

Cardiac Rehabilitation exercise and educational sessions are divided into male and female sessions.

We encourage you to bring a family member or a friend for support. For female sessions, please be mindful that only females can attend. Friends and family members cannot actively participate in the exercise session, but are encouraged to attend for their own educational purposes.

The Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit is open Sunday through Thursday, 8AM to 5PM, and is located on level P2, below the Heart and Vascular Institute outpatient clinic.

For any inquiries, please speak with your referring physician.

© Copyright 2017 Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. All rights reserved.

This information is provided by Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of Mubadala Healthcare, and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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