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Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

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Cardiac Rehabilitation

The cardiac rehabilitation team includes physicians, nurses, physical therapists, dietitian, social worker and exercise physiologists. We work closely with you to help make decisions about your lifestyle. Around here, you’re more than a heart patient. You’re a person wishing to live a full life.

The cardiac rehabilitation program includes:

Monitored Exercise

Our cardiac rehabilitation specialists design an exercise program that suits each patient's ability and endurance and gradually builds cardiovascular fitness. Each early morning, mid-morning or early evening exercise session receives close supervision from a registered nurse with cardiac care experience, a registered physical therapist and an Emerson physician. Patients begin by exercising at the hospital. Gradually they transfer the exercise regimen to a home-based, self-supervised routine, complemented by advanced sessions available at the hospital.

Individual Nutrition Counseling

Before beginning the program, patients meet with the dietitian to assess their nutritional status, set a realistic target weight (if weight loss is needed) and help create a plan for improved nutrition. The nutritionist also provides continuing support and instruction once a week during the exercise class.

Weekly Educational Meetings for Patients and Family

Following the exercise period, patients, family members and staff meet for a weekly lecture and discussion of relevant topics such as anatomy and physiology, nutrition, stress, medication and the impact of heart disease on individuals and families. In addition to the prepared lectures by staff, participants share information and concerns about the risk factors associated with heart disease. They plan ways to incorporate regular exercise, food, nutrition and stress management into everyday life.

Getting Started

After your preliminary acceptance by the program director, the initial screening process includes an exercise tolerance test, a blood chemistry profile and an interview with the staff to answer your questions and evaluate the program's suitability for you. Insurance coverage for the program is according to individual policies. The program director can help you determine the exact coverage provided by your insurance plan.

We are wholeheartedly committed to your recovery. Change is never easy, but by attending all scheduled classes and doing your best to follow your home program, you can set a new course toward renewed physical capacity, independence and a fuller measure of good health.

Helping Yourself Back to Health

This program blends supervised exercise with education and support to speed your rehabilitation from a heart problem. Soon after beginning the program, most participants experience measurable improvement in their level of physical fitness. At the same time, weekly educational discussions address the long-term lifestyle changes that reduce cardiac risk factors. Participants are referred to the 12-week program (or whatever your insurance will provide) by their primary care physicians following a heart attack, bypass surgery or episodes of angina. You do not need to have been a patient at Emerson Hospital to participate in the program.

Cardiac Small Group Strength Training

Led by a clinical exercise specialist, this 10-week program focuses on maintaining and improving one’s strength using light weights and high repetitions. It also includes balance, core and flexibility exercises. Attention is paid to one’s cardiac background (high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythm, and/or recent cardiac event) with appropriate modifications. Exercises are done standing and on a mat and adapted to individual needs.

Yoga of the Heart®

Stress is considered to be a major contributor to many chronic diseases, including coronary artery disease.  Studies have shown that yoga can help with stress management, promote optimal well-being, and possibly slow or even reverse the progression of cardiac disease. The Yoga of the Heart® Program offered by Emerson's Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is based on the work of Nishala Joy Devi, the former stress management director of the Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease. Class size is limited to 6 to 8 participants. Cost is $150 for the 10-week program.  For more information or to sign-up, call 978-287-3732.

Metabolic Syndrome Program

As part of the cardiac rehab program, Emerson also conducts a metabolic syndrome program for patients with or at risk of diabetes and heart disease.

The comprehensive program addresses weight loss and nutrition education, behavioral and cognitive lifestyle changes and exercise, and is staffed by a nutritionist, social worker, nurse, physical therapist and exercise physiologist.

Our program meets Wednesdays from 5–7 p.m. for 12 weeks. One hour of nutrition and lifestyle education and one hour of exercise. The cost of the program is $33 per week. If you are interested in the program and would like more information, please call 978-287-3732 or speak with your primary care physician. You need a referral from your doctor for this program.