What Exactly Is Intensive Cardiac Rehab?

person-3553814_1280Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary approach to achieve optimal cardiac health following a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack, stroke or surgery. It involves registered nurses, dietitians, exercise physiologists, and cardiologists—all working together to create a personalized plan to heal and strengthen your heart. What can our intensive cardiac rehab do for you?

How Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Works

Through a holistic approach, our program is tailored to help your heart heal and improve your health and quality of life. In intensive cardiac rehabilitation, your health coach creates a wellness program specific to your heart health needs. Our team closely monitors you and how your heart is reacting to achieve your goal of optimal cardiac health. 

The Importance Of Behavior Modifications 

Outpatient cardiac rehab focuses on three disciplines to help you on this journey. They are lifestyle, nutrition, and exercise. To recover from your cardiac event, it’s important to address these three areas, as they all play a role in healing your heart. Making these behavior modifications will make all the difference.


Your team will help you look at which lifestyle factors cause stress to your heart. Your personal health coach will work with you on managing the major stressors in your life and ways to relieve the stress that may be affecting your heart health. 


Nutrition is a crucial way to care for your heart. A common misconception with changing your diet is that “heart-healthy” foods don’t taste good. However, there are many ways you can modify how you season and cook your foods to make them delicious. Our team will assist you in reviewing all aspects of nutrition. We also teach you how to incorporate food modifications such as: 

  • Foods to substitute
  • How to read food labels
  • How to season foods without salt
  • Healthy recipes to try 
  • Cooking demonstrations 


Exercise is also a main component of intensive cardiac rehabilitation. Our exercise physiologists will help you begin a light exercise routine that is appropriate and safe for your body and heart. Your vitals are even monitored the entire time! Knowing how to properly exercise is the key to results, and it gives you the tools you need to continue that routine even at home. Here at CIS Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation, we focus on the three phases of exercise:

  • Cardiovascular Endurance and Strength. Patients work on their heart’s endurance and strength utilizing state-of-the-art equipment including: treadmills, stationary bicycles, and seated steppers. This ensures the rehab staff and your physician that your heart is strong enough to handle any daily home activities.
  • Strength Training. With strength training, patients work to confidently accomplish activities of daily living (ADLs). Exercise physiologists teach patients to utilize resistance tubes and their own body weight to mimic these movements. These activities include getting in and out of a chair, opening doors, climbing stairs, carrying groceries, and more. 
  • Flexibility. Flexibility is just as important to cardiovascular strength as the other types of exercise. It allows your body to move properly to perform those ADLs. Without flexibility, tying your shoes or bending over to pick things can be so much more difficult. Maintaining flexibility makes your life easier and can protect you from injury. 

Intensive Cardiac Rehab At Cardiovascular Institute of the South 

Talk to your doctor to learn if you qualify for intensive cardiac rehabilitation. Schedule an appointment with a cardiologist to get started today.

Latest News

CIS Staff

Written by CIS Staff