Cardiac rehabilitation specialists in North Central Florida

The cardiac rehabilitation program provided by The Heart & Vascular Center at North Florida Regional Medical Center 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.

For more information about our cardiac therapy program, please call (352) 333-4710.

Patients who benefit from cardiac rehab

Cardiac rehabilitation is beneficial for patients who are:

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

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

Three phases of cardiac rehab

The cardiac rehabilitation program at The Heart & Vascular Center is divided into three phases. Many patients will begin our program while they are still an inpatient at the hospital and continue on an outpatient basis following their discharge.

However, patients are able to participate in our program on an outpatient basis if they do not require hospitalization.

Cardiac rehab phase one

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

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.

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.

Insurance coverage for cardiac rehab

Many major insurance carriers offer reimbursement for phase two of 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.