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Cardiac rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation is utilized to improve the cardiovascular health of individuals who have suffered a heart attack, heart failure or any other debilitating heart condition. Cardiac rehabilitation usually involves exercise and education in order to rebuild and maintain heart strength.


Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) in Gainesville

The cardiac rehab program provided by The Heart & Vascular Center at HCA Florida North Florida Hospital helps patients with heart disease return to an active lifestyle.

We care for patients managing a heart disease diagnosis or recovering from a cardiovascular surgery or interventional cardiology procedure. Our program uses education, nutrition counseling and supervised exercise to help patients recover and maintain long-term heart health.

Cardiovascular conditions we treat

Heart rehab is beneficial for patients who are:

  • At a high risk for developing heart disease
  • Diagnosed with cardiomyopathy or congestive heart failure
  • Experiencing regular chest pain
  • Recovering from a heart attack
  • Recovering from an interventional cardiology procedure
  • Recovering from heart and vascular surgery

Our cardiac rehab services

The cardiac rehab program at The Heart & Vascular Center is divided into three phases.

Patient of North Florida Hospital laughing together with her nurse during phase one of Cardiac Rehabilitation.

Cardiac rehab phase one

Phase one of our cardiac therapy program begins while a patient is still in the hospital recovering from a heart attack or other heart condition. During inpatient cardiac rehab, a member of our cardiac rehab staff will visit patients in their rooms and explain the benefits of inpatient and outpatient rehab.

It is important to begin cardiac rehab as early as possible, so patients may begin to recover their strength. The initial rehab process may include low-intensity exercise to monitor heart rate, blood pressure and current exercise tolerance.

Before discharge, we provide patients with educational materials about their condition and options for continuing cardiac rehab in phases two and three.

Patient of North Florida Hospital strength training during phase two of Cardiac Rehabilitation.

Cardiac rehab phase two

The second phase of cardiac rehab may begin as soon as two weeks after hospital discharge. Phase two may continue for up to 12 weeks and includes:

  • Three supervised and electrocardiogram (EKG)-monitored exercise sessions per week
  • Various activities such as treadmill walking, stationary bicycle riding, arm cycling, rowing and strength training
  • Educational instructions on nutrition, stress management and other factors contributing to heart disease
  • Development of a personalized exercise program

Cardiac rehab phase three

With approval from a physician, patients may begin phase three of cardiac rehab after completion of phase two. Phase three is a continuation of supervised exercise that aims to maintain consistent, healthy lifestyle habits.

Weekly sessions for patients in phase three are available upon request.

More about our cardiac rehab program

Learn more about why cardiac rehab is good for you, and whether insurance will pay for it.

Benefits of cardiac rehab

Cardiac rehab participants experience substantial benefits, such as:

  • Decreased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Enhanced knowledge of heart disease
  • Faster recovery
  • Improved cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Increased energy levels
  • Increased exercise endurance
  • Reduced body fat and improved muscle tone

Insurance coverage for cardiac rehab

The amount of coverage depends on an individual's insurance company and policy. Please check with your insurance provider about your benefits.

Patients participating in phase three may purchase a heart card that entitles them to eight visits. This is often not covered by insurance plans.

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