Cardiac Rehabilitation

The Cardiac Rehab program at Los Alamitos Medical Center provides treatment to those who have experienced a heart attack, heart failure, heat surgery or angioplasty. Our cardiac rehabilitation team of cardiologists, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare support groups will help you take charge of a healthy diet, lifestyle choices and habits that affect your heart.
You don’t have to cope with heart disease alone. Let our cardiac rehab professionals help you.

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Get Back to the Active Life You Want

Regaining the right cardiac fitness level for you requires commitment, time and expert medical supervision. Our cardiac rehab program in Los Alamitos will help you get back to a full and active lifestyle. We will show you exercises and educate and support you in your cardiac rehabilitation journey. Our program aims to:

  • Limit the cardiovascular disease’s progression
  • Reduce your cardiac risk factors
  • Maintain and improve your physical functioning

What Is Cardiac Rehab?

Reduce your risk of another cardiac event by joining a cardiac rehab program, which aims to improve your cardiovascular health. It involves the following equally important components:

  • Exercise counseling and training
  • Education for heart-healthy living
  • Stress-reducing counseling

It takes time to recover from a cardiac event or procedure. There are four phases in a cardiac rehab program in general:

  • Phase 1 – the patient is confined in a hospital to recover from a cardiac event or procedure
  • Phase 2 – the patient goes home and prepares to become part of a cardiac rehab program
  • Phase 3 – healthcare professionals help a patient maintain a healthier lifestyle through consistent health education and supervised exercise sessions
  • Phase 4 – the patient maintains the healthy habits they have started while their primary care team monitors their cardiac risk factors, clinical conditions and medications

Losing weight and eating healthy are among the things you can do to make the most out of your cardiac rehab program, which focuses on:

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

Your doctor may recommend certain medicines during your cardiac rehab, such as:

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors – treat high blood pressure and heart failure by interfering with the body’s production of angiotensin, an artery-narrowing chemical
  • Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) - recommended for patients who cannot take ACE inhibitors
  • Antithrombotics (anti-platelet/anti-coagulant) medicines – prevent the formation of blood clots in arteries
  • Beta-blockers – reduce heart rate and workload to treat heart conditions such as high blood pressure
  • Statins – help the body process and remove bad cholesterol

Which Patients Are Referred to a Cardiac Rehab Program?

Individuals who have undergone the following cardiac procedures may be referred to a cardiac rehab program:

  • Stent or coronary angioplasty
  • Bypass surgery
  • Heart or heart-lung transplant
  • Heart valve repair or replacement

Benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiac rehab offers a range of benefits. Structured training may reduce risk factors and symptoms and improve mood and cardiovascular health. Education may enable you to make healthy choices to enhance your cardiac health and manage your condition. Counseling may help reduce the stress that may impact your health.

How Long Is a Cardiac Rehab Session?

Your physical training routine may include both muscle-strengthening and aerobic exercises. You may be doing some of the following aerobic exercises for three to five days for up to 45 minutes per session:

  • Walking outside or on a treadmill
  • Climbing stairs
  • Cycling
  • Rowing

Strengthening exercises are usually done in sets per session up to three days a week and may include:

  • Weightlifting
    • Free weights
    • Hand weights
    • Weight machines
  • Wall-pulley lifting
  • Elastic band workouts
  • Bodyweight exercises


The goal of cardiac rehabilitation is to reduce cardiovascular risk factors and prevent health complications. If you smoke, quit for good. Smoking increases a person’s risk of coronary heart disease death. Keep healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels by maintaining a healthy weight, consuming less sodium and engaging in physical activity. Your doctor may advise keeping track of your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

We recommend engaging in moderate physical activities such as jogging, brisk walking and cycling for at least 150 minutes per week. This habit may help your heart work more efficiently. If you have diabetes, regulate your blood sugar through proper diet, exercise and medications. It can also help you decrease your risk of kidney disease, stroke and heart attack.

If you feel the following warning signs, call 911 or seek emergency care immediately:

Heart attack symptoms include:

  • Chest discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Discomfort in:
    • One or both arms
    • The back
    • Neck
    • Jaw
    • Stomach
  • Nausea or lightheadedness

Stroke symptoms include sudden:

  • Numbness or weakness of the arm, leg or face
  • Confusion or trouble speaking
  • Vision troubles in one or both eyes
  • Dizziness, loss of coordination or balance
  • Severe headache without a known cause

Regaining Your Heart’s Strength

Before signing up for our cardiac rehabilitation services, get your primary care physician’s recommendation to assess your eligibility correctly. If you have undergone any cardiac procedure, your surgeon must clear you before you can be evaluated for our program.

Make sure you take your medicines on time and correctly. If you experience new or worsening symptoms during your cardiac rehab, call 911.

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