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Cardiac Rehabilitation

If you have or are at high risk for heart disease, Danbury Hospital offers an outstanding cardiac rehabilitation (cardiac rehab) program to help you return to active living and reduce the risk of future heart disease.

In fact, our cardiac rehab program is accredited by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation (AACPR), which means that we’ve met rigorous national standards for the quality of our care.

Our outpatient Marcus Cardiac Rehabilitation Center programs offer supervised exercise, education, support and behavioral modification to limit the physical and psychological effects of cardiac illness—and get you back to living a full and active life. 

Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program designed to help improve your cardiovascular health if you have experienced a heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty or heart surgery, or if you are at high risk of heart disease.

Danbury Hospital’s cardiac rehabilitation services are available on both an inpatient and outpatient basis, and include professionally supervised exercise, education and counseling services. Our goals are to help you reduce your cardiac symptoms, enhance your fitness, improve your health and reduce the risk for heart problems in the future.

You may benefit from our services if you have one of the following conditions:

  • Acute myocardial infarction (heart attack)
  • Coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Stable angina
  • Angioplasty/stent placement
  • Valve replacement/repair
  • Heart transplant
  • High risk for heart disease, with a physician’s referral

Our services include:

  • Cardiac rehabilitation exercise program
  • Risk-reduction education program
  • Dietary consultations

Through Danbury Hospital’s Marcus Cardiac Rehabilitation program, an outpatient service, people with heart disease learn together and support one another while attending educational sessions about heart disease. Topics include:

  • Structure and function of the heart
  • Know your numbers (acceptable blood pressure, lipid levels, etc.)
  • Coping with stress
  • Exercise
  • Understanding cardiovascular disease
  • Surgical and diagnostic procedures
  • Nutrition

Exercise makes your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. Our team will design an exercise program tailored to your unique needs and goals to help you to return to work and other activities as quickly as possible. You’ll feel yourself getting stronger and fitter as you move forward, step-by-step, through our "phased" approach to cardiac rehabilitation.

Phase I Program

Phase I takes place while you’re in the hospital recovering from a heart attack, bypass surgery, coronary angioplasty or other cardiac event. You’ll have an educational session provided by the cardiac rehabilitation staff. At that time, you may perform light exercises or walk a bit in order to reduce the negative effects of bed rest and prepare you to return home.

Phase II Program

Phase II consists of a 12-week aerobic exercise and education program. You’ll attend exercise sessions at Danbury Hospital three times a week. A qualified exercise physiologist supervises each session and monitors your heart rate and rhythm to ensure that you are responding appropriately to exercise.

You’ll also have the opportunity to attend educational sessions weekly along with your family. You’ll receive a comprehensive dietary consultation from a registered dietitian who will assist you in making heart-healthy lifestyle changes, including weight loss and blood lipid (cholesterol) management.

Phase III Program

In Phase III you’ll continue your aerobic exercise training in a supervised setting to maintain the progress and benefits you achieved during Phase II.

Our team will provide you with a personalized exercise prescription while you learn to monitor your own exercise data. A member of our staff will review your data after each exercise session.

Please plan to exercise at our facility at least three times per week. In fact, many of our participants choose to continue exercising indefinitely at our facility.

We encourage participants in the Phase II, III and Risk Reduction programs to meet with our registered dietitian to discuss dietary goals. Participants also attend classes to discuss interpretation of lipid (cholesterol) profiles, how to read food labels, supermarket shopping, vegetarian cooking, and high-fiber and low-fat diets.

Our registered dietitian also provides nutritional consults for cholesterol management to patients who do not participate in the Phase II and III programs.

The Marcus Cardiac Rehabilitation Center offers a variety of patient education and support programs for you and your family, including smoking cessation, stress management, tai chi and yoga.