Mercyhealth’s cardiac rehab program is a comprehensive exercise, education and support program for those at risk for cardiovascular disease or for those recovering from a recent heart event or procedure.
Our four cardiac rehabilitation centers also offer peripheral artery disease (PAD) rehabilitation therapy. PAD limits blood flow in the limbs and can cause aching and fatigue, most often in the legs. PAD often co-exists with coronary (heart) and carotid (neck) artery disease.
Why is it important?
Cardiac rehabilitation helps you take control of your health by giving you the tools to better manage your risk factors of cardiovascular disease. Cardiac rehab also helps you function better, improving your quality of life. You will be able to do more and move better.
There is overwhelming evidence that comprehensive, exercise-based cardiac rehab programs, like those found at Mercyhealth, are associated with a lower risk of dying from heart disease.
What is cardiovascular disease?
- Coronary artery disease (CAD)
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
- Peripheral vascular disease
What are the primary risk factors for cardiovascular disease?
- Lack of regular exercise or physical inactivity
- Chronic stress
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
Phases of cardiac rehabilitation
Phase 1 begins while you are in the hospital. Exercise physiologists give you basic guidelines on starting a home exercise program, how to check your heart rate and some lifestyle restrictions because of your heart event. Exercise physiologists also review your personal risk factors for heart disease and discuss ways to decrease or control those risk factors.
Once released from the hospital, you begin an outpatient program that includes structured, monitored exercise and a comprehensive education program. During Phase II, you’ll learn about your heart condition, how to be proactive in improving their heart condition and risk factors, how to exercise properly and how their body will respond to exercise. Phase II typically lasts anywhere from six to 12 weeks and meets three days a week for 1 to 1- 1/2 hours.
Your family and friends are very important support system for you. Their help and encouragement can be vital in your recovery process. We encourage your spouse to get involved in the exercise programs and attend education classes covering stress management, the emotional aspects of heart disease, exercise guidelines, anatomy and physiology of the heart, medications, risk factors and a heart-healthy diet.
Phase III (transition program)
Phase IV (wellness program)
Once you have graduated from Phase II, you can exercise on your own or continue in our Phase III (transition) exercise program. This program also meets three times a week, but patients are more independent. Phase III patients are not monitored by ECG, but are supervised by staff. Your blood pressure is monitored regularly. You usually stay in this program for four weeks and graduate to the wellness program, Phase IV. This program meets five days a week, and you’ll monitor your own exercise intensity level, heart rate and blood pressure.
Cost and locations
Most insurance companies cover the cost for six to 12 weeks. You may continue to exercise for a nominal fee in our rehab maintenance program. Cardiac rehabilitation is available in Janesville and Lake Geneva, WI, and Harvard and Rockford, IL.