Cardiovascular and Cardiac Rehabilitation

Cardiovascular rehabilitation, or rehab, is a key part of your recovery following a heart or leg procedure, surgery, heart failure, or an event such as a heart attack.

Cardiologists at Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Cardiovascular Institute oversee your rehabilitation, preserving your heart health as you safely return to a more active lifestyle.

What is cardiovascular or cardiac rehab?

While cardiac rehab helps you recover from heart-related issues, cardiovascular rehab also aids in your recovery from circulatory problems related to your veins and arteries. It can be completed in a traditional brick and mortar setting or virtually. It is a customized outpatient program that involves exercise and education designed to help you recover from heart disease or peripheral artery disease and improve your heart health. Cardiovascular rehab typically includes exercise training, emotional support, nutrition counseling, and guidance for reducing your risk of heart disease. During cardiovascular rehab, you'll work with a team of health care professionals that may include cardiologists, clinical exercise physiologists, critical care nurses, nutrition specialists, diabetes educators, and mental health specialists. Your team of experts will create a unique plan to help you regain your health, prevent your heart disease or peripheral artery disease from worsening, and improve your overall quality of life.

Cardiovascular rehab phases

The primary stages of cardiovascular rehab typically last about three months; however, some patients may stay in the program longer, depending on their progress. It can be completed on-site or virtually.

Typically, cardiovascular rehab includes:

Medical evaluation

Your health care team will perform an initial evaluation to check on your physical capabilities, medical limitations, and general health. Evaluations will be ongoing throughout your program to check on your progress.

Physical activity

During cardiovascular rehab, you’ll usually have to exercise about three times a week. You’ll work with your health team to complete low-impact activities, such as walking, rowing, yoga, and cycling. Your program may also include strength building exercises like weightlifting.

Lifestyle education

This involves tips and guidance for making healthy lifestyle changes, like eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking, vaping, or tobacco products. You may also receive guidance on how to manage conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and hypertension.


Your health team will also provide emotional support if you’re experiencing depression or anxiety as you recover from your health condition.

Cardiovascular rehab at AHN: Why choose us?

We help you gradually build endurance and heart function through physical activity and strength training exercises. As a cardiovascular rehab patient, you can expect:

Close supervision

We may place you on an electrocardiogram (EKG) monitor and carefully watch your blood pressure and heart rate during each session to ensure your safe return to daily activities.

Personalized atten