Cardiovascular Rehabilitation

Heartcare does not end when you leave our hospital. At MetroWest Medical Center, we strive to improve your cardiovascular health through our cardiovascular rehabilitation program if you have undergone heart surgery, heart attack, angioplasty/stent, valve surgery, heart transplant or have a diagnosis of stable angina, cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure or peripheral artery disease. Here, you will collaborate with nurses, exercise physiologists and dieticians to help you take charge of healthy habits, diet and lifestyle choices that affect your heart.

You do not have to cope with heart disease on your own. We offer a comprehensive outpatient program to promote improved cardiac health. Let us help you.

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Helping Your Heart Grow Stronger

Cardiovascular diseases are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. People of all ages with cardiac conditions can benefit from a heart rehab program, especially if you have or have experienced a:

  • Heart attack
  • Heart conditions such as angina, heart failure or coronary artery disease
  • Heart procedures such as:
    • Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery
    • Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)
    • Valve replacement or repair

Our Framingham Union Hospital in Framingham has heart rehab specialists who will work with you to create a personalized rehabilitation program to:

  • Improve your physical function
  • Build your confidence in day-to-day activities
  • Reduce your health risks

What Is Cardiac Rehabilitation?

You can reduce your risk of a next cardiac event by participating in cardiac rehab. Cardiac rehab aims to improve cardiovascular health and manage cardiac risk factors. It involves three equally important parts:

  • Exercise training and counseling
  • Risk factor reduction
  • Behavior Modification and Education

Eating better and losing weight the healthy way are among the things you can do to get the most out of your cardiac rehab so that you can return to work or get back to activities you might have missed. A cardiac rehabilitation program focuses on:

  • Blood pressure management 
  • Diabetes management 
  • Exercise training 
  • Lipid management 
  • Nutritional counseling 
  • Physical activity counseling
  • Psychosocial management
  • Tobacco cessation 
  • Weight management

    How Long Is a Cardiac Rehabilitation Session?

    Cardiac rehab programs generally have 36 sessions that span several months. You will improve your cardiovascular fitness by undergoing supervised exercise training during this time. The physical activity type and intensity will depend on your heart condition’s severity. Your therapist may check your oxygen level and blood pressure during an exercise session.

    Your exercise routine may include both aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises. Walking on a treadmill, cycling, rowing and more are some of the aerobic exercises you may generally be doing in rehab, twice/week for one hour in small group sessions while wearing a heart monitor.

    Strengthening activities include resistance training utilizing resistance bands or hand weights as well as lower body strengthening exercises, balance exercises and more. 

    Outpatient Rehabilitation

    Cardiac or cardiovascular rehabilitation is available for patients who have experienced a heart attack, angioplasty/stent, cardiac bypass surgery, valve replacement or repair, heart transplant as well as for some patients with stable angina, cardiomyopathy/CHF and peripheral artery disease.

    Our cardiologists, dietitians, exercise specialists and registered nurses will work with you to improve your cardiac function, reduce your cardiovascular disease risk factors and begin to lead a healthier lifestyle.

    Participants will receive a comprehensive exercise program to optimize functional status, enhance their quality of life and manage cardiac risk factors. Clinical exercise physiologists and RN’s supervise these exercise sessions. Our two-day-per-week program will also educate participants through one-on-one coaching and group educational lectures. Members will gain the knowledge, skills and motivation to manage or prevent disease.


    The goal of cardiac rehab is to help you reduce risk factors that put you at increased risk of health problems in the future. If you are a smoker, quit smoking for good. Smoking increases your risk of dying from coronary heart disease due to insufficient oxygen-rich blood that reaches your heart. It may worsen your blood cholesterol or blood pressure level if you have these risk factors.

    Get active and engage in moderate-intensity physical activity for at least 150 minutes per week. Do brisk walking, cycling, rowing and more. Benefits include:

    • Losing weight
    • Reducing stress
    • Sleeping better
    • Lowering blood pressure
    • Reducing blood sugar and improving lipid profiles

    Getting Started with Cardiac Rehabilitation

    Before signing up for our cardiac rehab program, a physician’s referral is required. An exercise stress test may or may not be indicated. Your physician will decide. You should also check with your insurance carrier to verify your benefit for cardiac rehab as some people are responsible for a co-pay or deductible. 

    For more information on our program, contact our Cardiac Rehab Department at 508-383-1680.

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