Cardiac Rehabilitation

Click here to learn more about our Heart Disease & Diabetes Prevention Program.

Cardiac rehabilitation is a nationally-certified program to help speed your return to an active life after you have had a cardiac issue — and it is proven to reduce the risk of further heart problems.

Emerson Hospital's comprehensive, medically-supervised cardiac rehab program is staffed by a team of specialists that includes physicians, nurses, dietitians, social workers and exercise physiologists who are wholeheartedly committed to your recovery.

When you enroll in our cardiac rehab program, we will create a plan tailored to your unique health needs and lifestyle. It includes exercise training, education on heart-healthy living and reducing heart disease risk factors, and counseling to reduce stress. For questions or more information, please contact us at 978-287-3732.

Who is eligible for cardiac rehabilitation?

You are eligible to participate in cardiac rehabilitation if you have (or have undergone):

What does cardiac rehabilitation involve?


Monitored exercise

Our cardiac rehab specialists design a 12-week, 2-days-a-week exercise program that suits your ability and endurance, gradually building cardiovascular fitness. For your convenience, many different class times are available.

Each session is closely supervised by a registered nurse with cardiac care experience, a clinical exercise physiologist, and an Emerson physician.

You begin by exercising at Emerson for 12 weeks, then transition your exercise regimen to a home-based, self-supervised routine which can be complemented by advanced sessions at the hospital.

Individual nutritional counseling

The program also includes consultations with a registered dietitian to assess your nutrition status, set a realistic target weight (if weight loss is needed), and help create a plan for improved nutrition. The dietitian holds several lectures and also provides continuing support and instruction throughout the program.

Individualized Psychosocial Support

After you begin the program you will meet individually with a licensed social worker to discuss support systems, stressors, and other life challenges related to heart disease. You will receive additional support through counseling referrals, information and recommendations for further assistance for individualized psychosocial treatment plans. The social worker also provides an education session in the lecture series and participates in monthly team meetings.

Weekly educational meetings

Once a week, after the exercise period, patients and staff meet for a lecture and discussion of heart health-related topics such as anatomy and physiology, nutrition, stress, medication, and the impact of heart disease on individuals and families.

Participants also share information and concerns about risk factors associated with heart disease, and how to incorporate regular exercise, heart-healthy food, good nutrition and stress management into everyday life.

How to get started with cardiac rehabilitation at Emerson

All we need is a referral (order) from your physician. You do not need to have been a patient at Emerson Hospital to participate in the program.

After your preliminary acceptance by the program director, you will undergo an initial screening that includes an exercise tolerance test, blood chemistry profile, and an interview with staff to answer your questions and evaluate the program’s suitability for you.

Insurance coverage for cardiac rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation is covered by commercial insurance plans as well as Medicare and MassHealth (Medicaid).

Other heart-healthy programs at Emerson Hospital

Emerson offers an array of special programs designed to help you regain and maintain your heart health:
Heart Disease & Diabetes Prevention Program
As part of our cardiac rehab program, Emerson conducts a metabolic syndrome program for patients with or at risk of diabetes and heart disease. This comprehensive program address weight loss and nutrition, behavioral and cognitive lifestyle changes, and exercise. It is staffed by a nutritionist, social worker, nurse, physical therapist and exercise physiologist. The metabolic syndrome program meets Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m. for 12 weeks (one hour of nutrition and lifestyle education, one hour of exercise). Cost is $33 per week. For more information, please call 978-287-3732, or talk to your primary care physician. You need a referral from your doctor for this program.

When I was 50, my doctor told me I had pre-diabetes. My warning signs included high cholesterol and cardiac issues that run in my family. I wanted to take control of my health and reduce my risk of cardiac disease. Emerson’s Heart Disease and Diabetes Prevention Program kept me accountable. Today I have much less risk for a cardiac event because I lowered my cholesterol, lost weight, improved my heart strength, and learned how to take good care of myself. The experienced staff taught me how to keep my heart healthy. I recommend the program for anyone who has warning signs – you will be in excellent hands and you will feel great with your improved health.

– Emily G.
graduate of Emerson’s Heart Disease and Diabetes Prevention Program 

Cardiac Small-group Strength Training
Led by a clinical exercise specialist, this 10-week program focus on maintaining and improving your strength using light weights and high repetitions. It also includes balance, core and flexibility exercises. Exercises are done standing and on a mat, and adapted to your individual needs.
Yoga of the Heart

Stress is considered a major contributor to many chronic diseases, including coronary artery disease (CAD). Studies show 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, former stress management director of the renowned 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, please call 978-287-3732.

Cardiac Educational Videos

The Corporators & Auxiliary of Emerson Health, in partnership with the Sudbury Senior Center, presented a community discussion on heart health. The virtual event focused on the warning signs of cardiac distress, risk factors and prevention. Presenter Ginny Dow RN, BSN, BC, CCRP, FAACVPR, is a board-certified cardiac rehab nurse and manager of Emerson's Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. To view the recording, click here.

In the videos below, cardiac rehab staff explain the basics of high blood pressure and aerobic exercise in these educational videos.



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Eight Tips for Heart Health

Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for men and women of nearly all racial and ethnic groups in the United States. Take care of your heart with these tips.

In My Own Voice: Michael Cramer Turns to Cardiac Rehabilitation After a Heart Attack

During his recovery from a heart attack, Michael turned to Emerson’s cardiac rehabilitation program, where he worked with an exercise physiologist, dietitian, nurses and staff to eventually return to his active lifestyle.

Emerson Hospital Receives Achievement Awards for its Care of Stroke Patients

The American Heart Association / American Stroke Association honored Emerson Hospital recently for its excellence in treating stroke patients.