Heart and Vascular

Following a heart attack or cardiovascular surgery, many cardiac patients need a planned and monitored program to help them return to an active lifestyle. Riverside’s cardiac rehabilitation program begins while patients are in the hospital and continues for several weeks after discharge. In addition to a structured exercise program, the cardiac rehabilitation team offers guidelines for healthy living, cardiac risk factor reduction and heart healthy eating.

Benefits of cardiac rehabilitation

  • Improves your self-confidence and helps define exercise limits.
  • Provides vital strengthening of the heart muscle.
  • Helps lower blood pressure.
  • Improves body tone and conditioning.
  • Provides group support to increase and sustain motivation.
  • Helps reinforce "prudent heart living" and eliminate negative health habits.
  • Helps speed the return to a normal lifestyle.
  • Provides education to help you understand the keys to continued good health.

Phase I

Phase I of the cardiac rehabilitation program provides personal evaluation and consultation to patients who have experienced a heart attack or undergone cardiac surgery. The consultation begins in one of our Riverside hospitals and includes exercise and education about risk factors such as diet and stress.

Phase II

After patients are discharged from the hospital, the program continues on an outpatient basis at Riverside Regional Medical Center or Walter Reed Hospital. Phase II of the program includes monitored group exercise programs and additional education about how to minimize risk factors. These programs typically last six to 12 weeks and help many patients return to their regular routines.

Phase III

Some patients choose to continue their lifestyle adjustments and exercise program in a non-medical setting. Riverside Wellness & Fitness Centers in Newport News and Gloucester provide comprehensive exercise facilities, educational programs and personal diet and fitness instruction to insure a smooth patient transition.