Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Cardiac Rehabilitation: Lifestyle Changes
A cardiac rehabilitation (rehab) program can help you make lifestyle changes. In cardiac rehabilitation (rehab), a team of health professionals provides education and support to help you make new, healthy habits.
Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to reduce your risk of future problems. Medicines and counseling can help you quit for good.
Education and counseling
can help you learn how to reduce episodes of angina (such as chest pain or discomfort). Angina occurs during activities that make the heart
work harder, such as climbing stairs, having sex, eating a large meal,
having emotional stress, or being exposed to cold. Other symptoms of angina include
shortness of breath, nausea, and a cold, sweaty feeling. Angina is often
relieved by rest and medicines.
Education combined with
exercise, diet, and support can help you stay at a healthy weight or lose
weight if you need to. If you need to lose weight, try not to feel overwhelmed.
Set small, attainable goals, and then get help to keep reaching those goals.
Losing even a small amount of weight can improve your overall health and reduce
your risk for further heart problems.
A heart-healthy eating plan can lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. These plans include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, oils, and nuts. These plans limit sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages, sodium, and red meats. Your cardiac rehab team can help you choose a plan that is right for you.
You can lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke by staying active and following your cardiac rehab exercise plan. Your cardiac rehab team will help you with your exercise plan.
The education and
support you receive in a cardiac rehab program can help you feel better about
yourself in your everyday life. Seeking help for depression, along with
managing any anxiety and anger you may have, can help you stay healthy.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerRakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, ElectrophysiologySpecialist Medical ReviewerJohn A. McPherson, MD, FACC, FSCAI - Cardiology
Current as ofFebruary 20, 2015
Current as of:
February 20, 2015
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & John A. McPherson, MD, FACC, FSCAI - Cardiology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.