Cardiac Rehab Exercises – What Are The Best To Do After Heart Surgery?

Cardiac rehabilitation programs are a critical, and sometimes overlooked, part of heart surgery recovery. As my 2007 survey showed, only 51% of patients attended structured classes with cardiac rehab exercises during their recovery. In my opinion, that is a shame. I could go on-and-on about the physical and mental benefits of good cardiac rehabilitation programs.

However, I just received a quick question that reads, “What types of exercises do you do at cardiac rehab centers?”

Cardiac Rehab Excercises Program

Well… I guess I would have to answers, “It depends.” I say that because each facility may have a different approach to strengthening the human body following heart surgery.

However, I can share with you what I experienced at The Cardiac Care Center at Torrance Memorial Hospital in Torrance, California. In fact, I just pulled out my cardiac rehab excercise book. Here is a list of the main exercises I participated in during my three month program after heart valve replacement surgery:

  • Stationary bicycle
  • Rowing machine
  • Elliptical machine
  • Treadmill
  • Light weights – 5 to 15 pounds
  • Arm cycling

The other thing I did to really help my bones and muscles feel better was STRETCH. I was always stretching during my recovery. In the morning I stretched. In the evening I stretched. In fact, it felt so good then, I’m gonna go stretch right now!!!


I hope that helps explain more about the different kinds of exercise at cardiac rehab.

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of

To learn how Adam has helped millions of people with heart valve disease, watch Adam's video, subscribe to his free newsletter, or visit his Facebook, or Twitter pages.

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