Cardiac rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation is an important step toward restoring your heart health and an essential part of the continuum of care. It’s designed to help you get better and stay better after a heart attack or cardiovascular procedure, such as surgery.

The cardiac rehab programs at Edward-Elmhurst Health are led by experts in exercise physiology, nutrition and emotional health. Rehab starts when you’re in the hospital and continues on an outpatient basis with the goal of integrating fitness into your daily life. The focus on your total wellness includes:

  • Exercise classes
  • Nutritional support/education
  • Patient/family education and support groups
  • Social service support
  • Stress management

Cardiac rehab open to all participants

There are three phases to cardiac rehab at Edward-Elmhurst Health. You don’t need to have stayed at one of our hospitals to take part in our outpatient phases and classes. You’ll just need a referral from your physician and you’re welcome to join us.

Phased approach to improving heart health

Read on to learn more about our three-phased approach to heart health.

Phase one: Inpatient rehab

One of our goals is getting you strong enough to go home. We start at your original activity level before you were admitted to the hospital and safely increase your activity each day. This may include such activities as walking up stairs or gaining strength to stand long enough to shower. During this phase, we’ll discuss lifestyle changes to help you stay as heart healthy as possible.

Phase two: Outpatient fitness and wellness

You’ll participate in a 12-week, monitored exercise program that meets three times a week. Exercise physiologists and registered nurses will monitor your heart rate and track your blood pressure to evaluate improvements.

At each group session, we’ll discuss educational topics, including stress management, heart healthy nutrition, managing risk factors, and overall cardiac education. Dietary counseling is offered on an individual basis.

Caring for your total well-being

Having a major medical diagnosis, such as heart failure, brings both physical and emotional challenges to you and your family. To help you cope, we’ll conduct an emotional health assessment and outline a personalized plan of care. All of your information is confidential and handled with sensitivity and respect. 

Phase three: Exercise program to maintain cardiac health

In this optional maintenance program, you’ll learn how to exercise on your own and make fitness a regular habit. This medically-supervised program is open to anyone who has a physician referral or who has participated in any cardiac rehab program, including HeartFit and PACE.


To help modify your risk factors, you'll learn how to exercise safely and stay motivated to reach your personal health goals. This program is for at-risk individuals who require cardiac monitoring, but have not experienced a cardiac event. Participants meet for one hour, three times per week for six weeks. A physician's order is required.

Peripheral arterial conditioning and exercise (PACE)

Intense leg pain can be debilitating for individuals with peripheral artery disease (PAD). PACE has been shown to delay the onset of leg pain when walking, increase stamina and improve overall muscle strength. This medically-supervised exercise program meets for one hour, three times per week for eight weeks. A physician's order for vascular rehabilitation and a treadmill test are required.

Pulmonary Rehab

The pulmonary rehabilitation program at Edward-Elmhurst Health helps you manage your COPD or other complex respiratory disease by offering comprehensive services to improve your breathing and endurance. Learn more about our Pulmonary Rehab Program.

Cardiac support groups

We offer cardiac support groups to help you and your loved ones share experiences and adapt to changes in your lives brought on by heart disease.

StrokeShare at Edward Hospital

This is a support group to help stroke survivors and their families adjust to the new changes in their lives. The group strives to help you create a more meaningful life by sharing questions, concerns and experiences.

The group meets on the third Wednesday of every month, from 7:15 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. For more information, call Cardiac Rehab at 630-527-3388.