Cardiac Rehab: General Exercise Guidelines for Phase III
The following exercise guidelines for phase III cardiac
rehab may vary depending on your medical history, clinical status, and symptoms
and whether you have had heart problems or heart surgery. These are just guidelines. Discuss additional physical limitations or medical issues with your doctor before you begin any exercise program.
Your rate of recovery depends on age, gender, and other health
conditions. Depending upon your condition and how you respond to rehab, you may
stay in a particular phase or move back and forth among the various phases.
There is no set length of time that you must stay in a specific phase.
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Phase III is often
referred to as the maintenance phase of cardiac rehab because it emphasizes
long-term lifestyle issues. The program will help you practice and keep healthy
behaviors and habits to continue to improve your existing heart condition or to
keep your risk of heart disease low. Regularly communicate with your rehab
staff and doctors for periodic reviews and assessments.
Phase III exercise program
Your exercise program
will include stretching, aerobic exercise, and strength training. A daily
exercise routine is encouraged.
Physical goals: Maintain your
aerobic capacity, overall strength, and flexibility.
Stretching should be a part of
your warm-up and cooldown every time you exercise. There are many benefits
associated with an increase of flexibility, including an increase in the length
of time that you can continue to be active.
General guidelines for flexibility exercises
Frequency: Do stretching
exercises at least 3 days a week.
Stretch to a position of mild discomfort.
Duration: Hold each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.
Repetition: Do each stretch 3 to 5 times.
Type: Control and hold without resistance, with emphasis on
the lower back and legs.
Strength training continues to be
an important part of your overall physical rehabilitation and conditioning.
Gradually progress as you feel comfortable, but more important, combine it with
your aerobic training. Be sure to monitor your progress toward your
Continue to follow your doctor's guidelines about correct
technique, breathing, and intensity to improve and/or keep your muscular
strength and endurance.
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Richard D. Zorowitz, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
October 5, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
October 05, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this