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Starting a Cardiac Rehab Program After Bypass Surgery

Man sitting on an exercise bike. 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 gives you tools to improve your overall health for the rest of your life. If there is not a cardiac rehab facility nearby, ask about possible medical transport. A home-based cardiac rehab may be an option for some.

Program parts

A cardiac rehab program includes:

  • 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. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. This can also include help with managing your weight and stopping smoking.

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

  • Help managing medicines. You'll learn why it's important to take your medicines as prescribed.

  • 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. 

© 2000-2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.