What is cardiac and respiratory rehabilitation? 

Cardiac and respiratory rehabilitation (or cardiopulmonary rehabilitation) is a multidisciplinary program that involves nutritional counseling, education, strengthening the heart and lungs, smoking cessation, stress management, and various other lifestyle changes. In many patients, Cardiac and pulmonary diseases coexist, increasing the rate of disability, morbidity, and death. Rehabilitation focuses on improving the quality of life of the patient to maintain a healthy and longer life.

Multidisciplinary Team members 

A Health care team member needs to have appropriate training, skills, and respect for their work. The multidisciplinary team member includes: 

Indications of Cardiac Rehabilitation

Patients with the following cardiac condition are eligible for cardiac rehabilitation:

Goals of Cardiac Rehabilitation

Individuals who have suffered from any of the above listed cardiac diseases are very prone to having a low-quality lifestyle, and that is when cardiac rehabilitation comes in. The goals are as follow: 

Indications of Respiratory Rehabilitation

Patients who are having any of the following chronic lung diseases can benefit from Respiratory Rehabilitation:

Goals of Respiratory Rehabilitation

Phases of Cardiac and Respiratory Rehabilitation

  In many patients, Cardiac and pulmonary diseases coexist, increasing the rate of disability, morbidity, and death. Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary approach, and it consists of the following phases:

Phase 1: Inpatient program 

 This phase begins soon after a cardiac event, after the stabilization of the patient. The emphasis is on low-level exercise and education for the patient and the family. The member of the rehab team visits the patient to discuss lifestyle modification and encourage the patient. 

Phase 2: Outpatient hospital-based program

This phase begins approximately 2 weeks after discharge. The healthcare team includes dieticians, social workers, pharmacists, clinicians, and others. This phase focuses on monitored exercise, nutritional counseling, psychosocial counseling, and patient education on lifestyle management and exercise.

Phase 3: Maintenance Phase

It is a community based/clinic exercise and education program in which physical fitness and additional risk factor reduction are emphasized. 


Phase 4: Community Phase

This phase is a continuation of phase 3 but without supervision. Patients continue to apply what they have learned. 

What is involved in respiratory rehabilitation?

When a patient is suffering from a chronic respiratory disease, everyday activities such as running, walking, or climbing becomes a bit hectic and that is why respiratory rehabilitation is crucial for them. Respiratory rehabilitation involves the following exercises and interventions:

  1. Exercise: Exercise is the key to any pulmonary rehab. Exercise includes upper body workout, lower body workout, aerobic, breathing exercises, breathing techniques, and strength training. Exercise creates increased tolerance to shortness of breath, better physical capability, and better quality of life. 
  2. Emotional support: people with severe respiratory diseases are more prone to having depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. Emotional support helps them cope up with the feelings of apprehension. 
  3. Education: Educating the patient about the disease, risk factors, complications, and prevention is important to prevent future relapse. Clinicians guide the patient regarding the correct use of medications, inhalers, and other facilities. 
  4. Lifestyle management: A healthy lifestyle is important for everyone but for patients suffering from any chronic pulmonary disease, it is crucial. The lifestyle modifications might include:

What is involved in cardiac rehabilitation?

Cardiac rehabilitation is a supervised program that includes:

Risks of cardiorespiratory Rehabilitation

Cardiorespiratory rehabilitation is not suitable for every individual who has had heart or lung disease. The healthcare team evaluates the risks and assesses the overall health, medical, and social history of the patient before opting for a rehabilitation program. It’s very rare for people to suffer injuries such as strained muscles or sprains while doing exercise as a part of their rehabilitation program. 

Results of cardiac rehabilitation

Cardiac rehabilitation is a long-term, effort-based program and the patients need to continue the advised exercises and habits for a long time. Consistency is the key for any rehabilitation. Counseling and education regarding diet, lifestyle, and exercise must go on for a longer time. To get the most advantages from cardiovascular rehabilitation patients have to be consistent and active. 

Over the long term patients may:


Cardiorespiratory is a long-term plan of care that is based on a patient’s motivation. The more dedicated, consistent, and positive you are towards your rehabilitation, the better you’ll do.



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