Cardiac Rehabilitation Phase IV: Long-Term Lifestyle Change - Topic Overview
The following exercises are examples. Your exercise program depends on your medical history, clinical status, and symptoms
and whether you have had heart problems or heart surgery. Discuss additional physical limitations or medical issues with your doctor before you begin any exercise program.
Your exercise program
will include stretching, aerobic exercise, and strength training. A daily
exercise routine is encouraged.
Stretching and flexibility
Stretching should be a part of
your warm-up and cooldown every time you exercise. There are many benefits
from an increase in flexibility, including an increase in the length
of time that you can continue to be active.
- 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.
Aerobic exercise in phase IV rehab
is a program designed for a lifetime of commitment. Make it enjoyable by
choosing activities that you like. It is still important that you use your
target heart rate and
rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and modify your
intensity as you improve or face difficulties.
|Aerobic (walking, swimming, biking, rowing,
- Within target heart rate range
- An RPE of 12 to 14 (somewhat hard to hard)
- Until tolerance if no
- Minimum of 3 to 4 times a
- Minimum of 5 days each week for weight loss
- 15 to 60 minutes
- Minimum of
45 to 60 minutes for weight loss
- Increase heart rate.
- Change type of activity.
- Increase duration (gradually).
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 the recommendations on correct
technique, breathing, and intensity to improve and/or keep your muscular
strength and endurance.