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Professional Library: The New Health and Human Services Cardiac Rehab Guidelines: - What this means to the Exercise Profession

Aerobic ProgressionResistive ExerciseMonitoring
Week 1-3Walking - stop and go
start with 1/4 mile, and
work up to 1/2 mile
body movement
in planes of action
of actual training
range of motion
*target HR
*level of

Goals: increase functional abilities without causing increased pain, improving flexibility, and finding the right schedule to guarantee success.

Month 2-4Walking program
increasing time and
Introduction to
aerobic machines
2-3 days per week
Light dumb bells
and resistance
exercise bands -
work on increasing
intensity and stations
Month 3 - include
work on major muscle
groups on strength
Target HR
(during and
post exercise)
Level of

once per

Goals: improve abilities by 10-25% in time on aerobics, overall strength, and make necessary changes in schedule to secure success in adherence.

Month 4-6Regular exercise 3-5
days per week in an
individual or group
walking, machine, or
classroom activity
at 55-75% of VO2
2-3 days per week of
general strength work
using major group
stations (chest, hips,
back, thighs, shoulders)
and dumb bell/band
exercises for smaller
muscle groups
blood lipid

Target HR

Resting BP
once per day

Goals: improvement in flexibility in shoulders, low back, and hip region. Expand types of exercises performed to boredom is minimal. Improvement in strength by an additional 5-10%.

Month 6-83-5 days of 30 minute
aerobic conditioning
8 strength stations
performed for major
muscle groups
2-4 sets of 10-15 reps
on each



Goals: Maintain a constant program. Find unique and creative ways to keep on a scheduled training regime.

Month 8-10 Coninue 3-5 days of
30 minute training
10-12 strength stations
for major and minor
muscle groups


Month 10-123-5 days of 30-45
minute training,
aerobic classes,
stress reduction
strength stations,
aquatic resistance,
increase use of
dumb bells and
free weights


Goals: Annual medical exam to see changes in lipid status, body weight, aerobic capacity, and other indices that may have improved as a result of regular conditioning.

Changes in Cardiac Rehab Practices
Out-patient based programs
The past two years have seen a shift from the traditional cardiac rehab setting (hospitals, clinics, etc.) to a more out-patient program. There are cardiac programs in health clubs under the title of post-rehab (or After Care, post Med Care, etc.). These programs are staffed by exercise physiologists who are ACSM certified, or physical therapists who have all or part of their practice within the health club. The advantage to this program is a larger facility, more equipment, long term membership contract (at a lower price than initial treatment), and a non-clinical environment to exercise in.

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 About The Author
Eric Durak received his Master of Science degree from the University of Michigan in 1986. His research experience is in the application of exercise for special population groups, such as diabetes, high risk pregnancy,......more
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