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Cardiac Rehab

Easy Read Information

Cardiac Rehab or Cardiac Rehabilitation is where we help you to recover after a heart attack (or other heart events).

This page gives you information about:

  • What happens to you as you recover
  • The services we provide
  • How to contact us
  • Where to find us

Who are we?

The aim of the Cardiac Rehabilitation programme is to get you back to as normal and active a life as possible and to reduce the risks of a further cardiac event by:-

  • Improving your fitness
  • Helping restore your confidence
  • Maximising your recovery
  • Improving your quality of life

What does the programme consist of?

A supervised exercise programme, which is individually prescribed for you and reviewed at each session.

Two sessions a week for five weeks or one session a week for eight weeks (modified programme). Each session will last approximately two and a half hours.

The programme includes:

  • Guidance to help you return to normal activity levels at home or at work.
  • Stress management and relaxation sessions

Advice and discussions on subjects related to improving your health, for example:

  • anatomy and physiology of the heart
  • risk factors for coronary heart disease
  • stopping smoking
  • diet
  • information regarding your medication

Being referred to us

Cardiac rehabilitation is available to anyone who has had:

  • a heart attack
  • a coronary angioplasty
  • heart surgery
  • some people who have angina or heart failure
  • some people who have an ICD implanted

What happens when you see us?

During the session you may see:

  • Cardiac Rehabilitation Sister
  • Physiotherapist, Exercise Physiologist or Technical instructor
  • Physiotherapy Assistant
  • Other members of the multidisciplinary team

What do I bring?

  • Please wear suitable clothing e.g. loose trousers/shorts and trainers or suitable supportive footwear
  • Bring reading glasses if you need them
  • If you have a GTN spray, inhalers for COPD /asthma or tablets please bring them with you

What are the benefits of exercise?

  • Physical activity will help reduce the risk of dying from another cardiac event by around 25%
  • With regular physical activity there is a good chance that you will be able to become fitter than you were before your cardiac event
  • Physical activity can reduce the harmful effects of cholesterol as well as reduce the tendency of the blood to clot – two important risk factors in coronary heart disease
  • It also reduces other risk factors for heart disease such as high blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, the risk of developing diabetes and being overweight
  • Regular exercise can reduce the risk of having a stroke
  • In addition, physical activity along with a healthy diet, helps reduce stress, improves your overall feeling of wellbeing and quality of life, and helps you to sleep well
  • Regular exercise also reduces the risk of bowel cancer, osteoporosis and the risk of falling

Are there any risks involved?

  • Discomfort in your chest or upper body brought on by physical activity
  • Uncomfortable or severe breathlessness during activity
  • Dizziness or nausea on exertion
  • Fainting or feeling light-headed during or just after doing physical activity
  • Palpitations (a very fast or irregular heart beat) during activity


If you get any of the above symptoms while exercising in class then stop and speak to one of the supervising cardiac rehab professionals immediately. If at home then speak to your GP or contact NHS Direct.

You will be assessed to ensure you have a safe and individualised exercise prescription.

In very rare instances, physical activity can lead to heart attack, stroke or even death, but every effort is made to reduce these risks through close supervision and monitoring by the cardiac rehabilitation professionals.

During each session your pulse rate, blood pressure and a scale of perceived exertion will be monitored. Your progression will be decided in consultation with your Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist. Your exercise may be stopped at any time.

What happens next?

A follow-on exercise programme in the community will be discussed and given to you before your last session with us.

Contact us

Cardiac Rehabilitation Department

Royal: 0151 706 2278 

Broadgreen: 0151 600 1922 

Where to find us

The Cardiac Rehabilitation sessions take place in:

  • The Royal Liverpool Hospital – in the gymnasium of the Physiotherapy department
  • Broadgreen Hospital – in the Cardiac Rehabilitation department