Cardiac Rehabilitation and Wellness

What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabThe mission of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Preventive Services at The Hoffman Heart and Vascular Institute of Connecticut (Cardiac Rehab) is to help restore and promote cardiovascular health and encourage a healthy active lifestyle through risk-factor modification, exercise training, and education.

The program is designed to offer comprehensive and medical supervision of cardiovascular rehabilitation, exercise training, prevention, wellness and health education.

Patients who are eligible to participate may have or have had any of the following diagnoses, conditions or treatments: angina, angioplasty, arrhythmia, cardiomyopathy, cardiac bypass, congestive heart failure (CHF), coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), heart attack (MI), heart transplant, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA/Stent), or valve replacement/repair.

Cardiac rehab consists of three phases:

  • Phase I: For the post-operative patient in a hospital setting who has just undergone cardiac surgery.
  • Phase II: A twelve-week (or less) program with monitored exercise sessions beginning four weeks post-op at an outpatient cardiac rehab center.
  • Phase III: Extended exercise on your own for patients who have become stabilized during Phase II.

What to expect...

Phase I takes place during your hospital stay after cardiac surgery. While the patient is monitored, a cardiac rehab specialist walks with the patient and checks oxygen levels, heart rate, and blood pressure when necessary. The patient is invited with a family member to attend our cardiac discharge class to help prepare you for home recovery. A personal information packet regarding your surgery will be given to you and educational videos dealing with cardiology procedures and tests are offered. The class is held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the conference room on 8-9. Any questions you may have regarding your surgery will be answered. A few topics that are covered include daily activities, walking, and dietary guidelines given by our own registered dietician. So bring your questions and start living a heart healthy life!

Phase II is a twelve-week outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program which may begin as early as four weeks from the date of surgery. It is a monitored, supervised exercise program designed to include regular physical exercise and risk-factor modification for those who have had a recent heart illness, surgery, or procedure. Patients are referred by their cardiologist. It is a good idea to contact your insurance company prior to beginning the program to find out if it is covered under your plan. Before starting the program, an appointment will be made to evaluate your cardiovascular status and determine your current health and fitness level, as well as your physical potential. A Phase II packet will be provided at that time which includes exercise benefits and guidelines for participation in the program. A time slot will be offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for a  one-hour of exercise session that includes a warm-up period, an exercise segment on a variety of treadmills and/or stationary bikes, free weight training, and cool down stretches. Blood pressure will be taken before, during and after exercise and exercise regimens are tailored to meet each patient's needs and ability. Progress reports from each session will be sent to your physician.  Every Wednesday at 10 a.m., an educational lecture is offered by a health care professional on topics of medication to weight and stress management. Upon completion of the program you will be given a graduation certificate and will be eligible to continue to our extended outpatient program in Phase III.

Phase III is a maintenance program for patients who have stabilized their cardiovascular and physiological responses through regular exercise and now are ready to add low-impact aerobics, kickboxing, and circuit training to their routines. An exercise program form and a medical reference form must be completed before starting. These forms can help you and your physician monitor your progress. Participation in this exercise program no longer requires EKG monitoring, but is supervised by the cardiac rehab team. Patients continue to learn how to modify their risk of heart disease. Physicians may refer patients to Phase III, but patients are also welcome to call to find out if they are eligible.   Classes are held at three convenient locations. You may join our program for $50.00 a month, which includes supervision or buy a membership at one of these centers without supervision. 


 The Fitness Center at Saint Francis Hospital
   95 Woodland St
   Hartford, CT 06105
   Class times:

   1:45 p.m. to 3 p.m.                                                     


 Jewish Community Center
   335 Bloomfield Ave
   West Hartford, CT 06117
   Class times:

   6:45 a.m. to 8 a.m.

 For more information or to find out if you are eligible to participate, call (860) 714-4202  
 After consulting with your physician, please download the forms below to get started.

Our Team

Our Cardiac Rehab Team has many years of combined experience in cardiology. We are all ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and CPR/AED (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation /Automated External Defibrillator) certified. Our experience ranges from medical and surgical cardiac telemetry units to cardiac intensive care units, health and wellness spas and fitness gyms.


Our cardiac rehab program provides a progressive, safe and individualized program of cardiovascular conditioning and strength training to facilitate a patient’s return to a normal life. We support patients through their recovery both physiologically and psychologically, improving their quality of life. Data from various sources suggest that exercise-based cardiac rehab may result in a 20% to 25% reduction in mortality for patients with established cardiovascular disease. The success of our cardiac rehab program at the Hoffman Heart and Vascular Institute of Connecticut has been proven by many objective measures and standards.

Unfortunately, many patients can not afford this life-saving service. If you would like to provide financial support by making a donation to the Cardiac Rehab Fund, please fill out the donation form. Thank you in advance for helping make this beneficial program available to those who cannot afford it.

Certifications and Acknowledgements  

The Hoffman Heart Institute / Cardiac Rehabilitation Program of Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center is certified through the AACVPR (American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation) in promoting health and preventing disease.