Physical Therapy Services

Cardiac Rehab (Phase III & IV)

This is targeted to those individuals who are recovering from a recent heart attack, or who have under gone cardiac by pass surgery or angioplasty and have been through phase I to phase II cardiac rehab in the hospital. Phase III rehab does not require telemetry. A phase III program has many parts, including supervised exercise and a variety of measurements and assessments. In addition to restoring your physical function, the focus of phase III is on reducing your risk of future heart conditions. Your progress will be monitored by several rehab staff members. The frequency and duration of phase III rehab sessions per week will vary depending upon the structure of your particular program.

Phase III exercise program

Your exercise program will include stretching, aerobic exercise, and strength training.
1. Approximate length: 8 to 12 weeks (6 to 8 weeks following discharge)
2. Physical goals: Increasing aerobic capacity and overall strength, self monitoring of heart rate (HR) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE), introduction to stretching exercises

Flexibility exercises

Make stretching part of your warm up and cooldown every time you exercise. The benefits associated with an increase of flexibility are numerous, and as part of your lifetime physical maintenance program, stretching will help increase the length of time that you can continue to be active. Enjoy the feeling of relaxation as you stretch. As you perform each exercise in a slow and controlled manner, focus on your breathing and become more aware of your body’s range of motion and positioning. Continue to follow the recommended guidelines carefully.

1. Frequency: At least 3 days per week
2. Intensity: Stretch to a position of mild discomfort
3. Duration: 10 to 30 seconds for each stretch
4. Repetition: 3 to 5 for each stretch
5. Type: Control and hold without resistance, emphasis on lower back and legs

Aerobic exercise

Phase III rehab includes a carefully monitored aerobic program that involves one or more types of exercise. Choose an exercise that you enjoy and, by using your understanding of target heart rate (THR) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE), record your exercise intensity. Gradually increase the intensity as you feel comfortable.

It is important to know when you reach an exercise intensity that causes angina and to exercise below that threshold. Therefore, note your heart rate intensity at any signs of chest discomfort or pain, and tell your doctor. It is suggested that you use heart rate monitors to accurately record your heart rate and exercise 10 to 15 beats per minute (bpm) below the known threshold.