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Cardiac Rehabilitation: Hospital Program

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

Cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) may start while you are in the hospital. The hospital program is one part, or phase, of your cardiac rehab. This phase emphasizes exercise and education.

The parts of a hospital program include:

Your rate of recovery depends on age, gender, and other health conditions. Depending upon your condition and how you respond to rehab, you may stay in a particular phase or move back and forth among the various phases. There is no set length of time that you must stay in a specific phase.

Your hospital rehab staff should be able to provide you with information and resources for making the transition from hospital to home. This includes how to find a cardiac rehab program in your community.

Exercise program

The following exercises are examples. Your exercise program depends on your medical history, clinical status, and symptoms.Discuss with your doctor any additional physical limitations or medical issues before you begin any exercise program.

An exercise program in the hospital progresses from initial supportive and self-care activities to regular daily walking.

Examples of initial activity

Step 1


  • Rest in bed until stable.
  • Sit up in bed with assistance.
  • Stand at bedside with assistance.
  • Perform self-care activities while seated.

Step 2


  • Sit up in bed independently.
  • Walk in room and to bathroom.
  • Perform self-care activities in bathroom.

Step 3


  • Sit and stand independently.
  • Walk in hall with assistance: 5 to 10 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day.

Step 4


  • Walk in hall: 5 to 10 minutes, 3 or 4 times a day.
  • Walk down stairs with assistance.
Examples of increases in activity

Mode

Walking in hospital hall


Frequency

Early mobile (days 1 to 3)

  • 1 or 2 times a day (always warm up and cool down)

Later mobile (days 2 to 4)

  • 3 or 4 times a day

Intensity


  • Heart rate 30 beats above your resting heart rate
  • Light exertion
  • Stop when you get tired.

Time


  • Intermittent bouts, 3 to 5 minutes
  • Rest periods at your discretion, 1 to 2 min. shorter than exercise bout
  • To progress, initially increase to 10 to 15 min., then increase intensity.
  • Include stair climbing when your doctor says it's okay.

References

Other Works Consulted


Credits for Cardiac Rehabilitation: Hospital Program

Current as of: April 29, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Richard D. Zorowitz MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


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