Participate in a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

What Is Cardiac Rehabilitation?

 Photo of a man on a stationary bikeCardiac rehabilitation is a program of exercise, education, and counselling that is designed to help you learn how to make heart healthy living a part of your every day life. Research demonstrates that people who participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program are more successful at managing their risk factors compared to those who do not.

Participating in a cardiac rehabilitation program will dramatically reduce your risk of future heart problems. There are a variety of programs available for you to choose from. Your program will be personalized to meet your needs. Your risk factors will be measured at different time points to monitor your progress and improvement.

In most cases, your cardiologist or cardiac surgeon will automatically refer you to a cardiac rehabilitation program. If you have not received your cardiac rehabilitation appointment within a few weeks of being discharged from the hospital, you should contact your doctor and discuss whether cardiac rehabilitation is right for you.

Overview of Cardiac Rehabilitation Options

Cardiac rehabilitation programs are designed to assist you in achieving and maintaining a heart healthy lifestyle and to help you return to every day life. There are a number of program options available to residents living in the Ottawa-Carleton and surrounding regions. There is no cost for participation in these programs.

University of Ottawa Heart Institute Programs

On-Site Supervised Program
Phone: 613-696-7068

  • Two- to three-month program
  • Supervised on-site, twice-weekly exercise sessions (1 hour/session)
  • Medical assessment by cardiac rehabilitation physician
  • Nutrition workshops
  • Referral to services such as:
    • Nutritional counselling
    • Stress management
    • Smoking cessation
    • Vocational counselling
    • Psychological counselling
    • Social work counselling
  • Follow-up evaluation scheduled after three and twelve months

Case-Managed Home Program
Phone: 613-696-7068

  • Flexibility for those unable to participate in hospital-based program
  • Three-month program
  • Tailored program focused on your personal heart health goals
  • Coronary risk factor assessment
  • Total of 15 appointments, approximately 30 minutes each
  • Three appointments at Heart Institute, remainder by phone
  • Individual home exercise program, no supervised exercise sessions
  • Follow-up evaluation scheduled after three and twelve months

Brief Program
Phone: 613-696-7068

  • Coronary risk factor assessment
  • Nutrition education sessions
  • Exercise evaluation and tailored home exercise program, no supervised exercise sessions
  • Total of four appointments at Heart Institute
  • Follow-up evaluation scheduled after three and twelve months

FrancoForme* (French Case-Managed Home Program)
*open to Franco-Ontarians only
Phone: 613-696-7068

  • Three-month program offered in French
  • Flexibility for those unable to participate in a hospital-based program
  • Tailored program focused on your personal heart health goals
  • Coronary risk factor assessment
  • Total of 15 appointments, approximately 30 minutes each
  • Three appointments at Heart Institute, remainder by phone
  • Individual home exercise program, no supervised exercise sessions
  • Follow-up evaluation scheduled after three and twelve months

Cardio-Fit Program
Phone: 613-696-7000 x 67068

  • Six-month, web-based program for individuals who are eligible
  • Tailored exercise and physical activity program
  • No supervised exercise sessions
  • Five online physical activity planning tutorials (10 to 15 minutes each)
  • Online physical activity log
  • Follow-up evaluation after six and twelve months

Community and Regional Programs

Pembroke Regional Hospital Cardiac Rehabilitation Program
Phone: 613-732-2811 x8091

  • Three- to six-month program, modelled after Heart Institute on-site program
  • Supervised on-site, twice-weekly exercise sessions
  • Education sessions
  • Medical assessment
  • Referral to a dietitian or social worker, as needed
  • Case-managed home program also available

Hawkesbury and District General Hospital Supervised Program
Phone: 613-632-1111 x52702, Fax: 613-636-6210

  • On-site 12 weeks twice per week supervised exercise program
  • Brief exercise program also available
  • Education sessions - bilingual
  • Referral to such services such as diabetes clinic, smoking cessation and telemedicine clinic in collaboration with UOHI for Heart Healthy Workshops and Telehome monitoring for heart failure patients

Brockville Cardiovascular Program
Phone: 613-345-5645 x1414, Fax: 613-345-8348

  • 12-week program focused on your personal heart health goals
  • Supervised on-site, twice-weekly exercise sessions
  • Risk factor assessment with education sessions
  • Medical assessment
  • Referrals available for individualized risk factors
  • Case-managed home program also available

Programme de réadaptation cardiaque de l’Outaouais
Phone: 819-966-6214

  • Based on the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Quebec program
  • Personalized physical exercise program
  • Stress management program
  • Nutrition management workshops
  • Five meetings with a case manager plus four optional information sessions
  • One-year case managed home program

Exercise After Cardiac Rehabilitation

Heart Wise Exercise

Phone: 613-696-7000 x18691, Email: heartwise@ottawaheart.ca

Heart Wise Exercise logoHeart Wise Exercise was developed to help individuals with heart problems exercise safely. It is a model for cardiac safe exercise developed by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute in partnership with many community agencies to address the barriers to exercise experienced by cardiac clients. Ideally, this program supplements a formal cardiac rehabilitation program. It could also be an alternative if no cardiac rehabilitation programs are accessible.

There are a variety of Heart Wise Exercise program options allowing patients and their families to choose one that is best suited to their needs and location. Free walking programs are offered in Ottawa shopping malls and in local high schools in Leeds, Lanark and Grenville County, Renfrew County and Prescott- Russell County. All programs must work with the Heart Institute, including attending a training workshop, to meet program criteria and become designated as a Heart Wise site.

For information regarding additional Heart Wise Exercise criteria, assistance in locating a program or how to start a program in your community, please contact the Regional Manager, Prevention and Rehabilitation Centre, University of Ottawa Heart Institute as indicated above.