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Cardiac Rehabilitation

Attending a Cardiac Rehabilitation program following a cardiac event has been shown to improve your chances of living a longer and happier life.

The program targets the individual needs of the person to increase their knowledge, motivation, and ability to better self-manage their overall health. Attending cardiac rehabilitation can also help significantly reduce cardiac risk factors through adopting positive lifestyle behaviours, better understanding the importance of taking heart medications and reducing the stress of living with a heart condition.

You will initially receive a phone call from a Cardiac Rehab Clinical Nurse who will complete a phone assessment and then together decide on the best plan for you (gym program, home exercise program or telehealth support). 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should take part?

All patients with a cardiac diagnosis or who have a lot of risk factors should be referred for Cardiac Rehabilitation.

What are the benefits?

Cardiac rehab is a program of support, exercise and education that’s led by specialised health professionals and specifically caters to strengthening your heart. It helps you make long-term lifestyle changes so you can live a longer, healthier life. 

Cardiac Rehab helps your recovery after a heart event, surgical procedure or the diagnosis of a heart condition. Cardiac rehab also helps lower your chances of having heart problems in the future. 

Cardiac rehab is proven to keep you out of hospital and reduce your risk of death from heart conditions.

What happens in the program?

Once you engage with Cardiac Rehab, you will learn about your heart condition and ways to minimise your risk factors. Your program will be personalised to your needs, including medications, education, exercise programs, and other support, giving you a better understanding of your cardiac condition while gaining confidence along the way.

You will first receive a phone call from one of the nurses where a phone assessment will be completed. You will either continue to have Telehealth phone support or be invited to attend in person for a face-to-face assessment with a cardiac nurse and a physiotherapist. Your medical history, risk factors and family history will be assessed.

Your healthcare team will keep track of your progress over time. They will carry out ongoing checks and make small changes to your program, if necessary, to make sure it continues to meet your needs.   

Should problems occur while you are attending cardiac rehab, the staff will be able to get you expert help promptly. On completion of your program, the cardiac rehab staff will send a report to your Doctor about your progress and achievements made in the program.

Cardiac Education

The Cardiac Rehab program will offer you the opportunity to receive vital cardiac rehab education. This may be obtained in two different ways:

1.  Fast Track face-to-face education - These half day courses run approximately every 4-6 weeks from 8am to 12.30pm at Helensvale and Robina.
Due to limited seating, you must register and confirm your attendance. 

2. Bi Weekly Education – Topics cover a wide range of informal subjects. Opportunity for interactive questions and answers,  and to expand on any topic related to your ongoing cardiac health.  These sessions are every Tuesday and Thursday at 9.40 to 10.20am. 

Cardiac Exercise Program

Once you are assessed by the Clinical Nurse and Physiotherapists/Exercise Physiologist, you may be invited to attend the gym program.

The gym program consists of two days per week for six weeks every Tuesday and Thursday with 3 different time schedules 6.45am, 8.30am and 10.30am. Each gym session runs approximately one hour and is supervised by cardiac experienced Clinical Nurses and Physiotherapists/Exercise Physiologist. You are allocated a case manager who supports you throughout the program.

Each gym session is tailored to your individual needs and progressed at your level with aerobic and resistance exercises. The sessions are designed to give you support and confidence to improve your exercise tolerance and heart health.

Physical Activity

The guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days, with muscle strengthening activities on at least 2 days per week.

After your cardiac event:
You will have been provided with a guide to begin and increase your levels of physical activity gradually. You may also speak to your GP regarding a referral to an accredited exercise physiologist or physiotherapist.

For those post cardiac surgery:
Your post operative cardiac booklet is a very useful resource. 


Dietary Advice

Medicines can reduce your risk of heart attack, angina, stroke or heart failure. They can help reduce your risk by controlling high blood pressure, managing blood cholesterol levels and improving quality of life. 

Support Programs

SMoCC (Self-management of Chronic Conditions Service)

SMoCC is a free phone support service for Queenslanders where a registered nurse will call you once a month for 4-6 months. They will talk to you about how to improve and reduce your health risk factors. Available after hours and weekends.  

My Health For Life

A state government-funded initiative, delivered by an alliance of health organisations, and is designed to help Queenslanders stay well, support behaviour change and help achieve your set goal.

  • Freee, six month phone-based coaching program
  • Phone 13 74 75 to see if you are eligible or visit the website
Australian Centre for Heart Health

A comprehensive and effective national Cardiac Wellbeing Program for cardiac patients and their families, with an emphasis on psychological and behavioural recovery. 

Support Networks


Provides access to confidential one-on-one support for people who are feeling overwhelmed or having difficulty coping.


There may be payments and services to help you.

Carer Gateway

If you are a carer, you can get help and support from the government and other organisations.

My Aged Care (over 65)
  • My Aged Care is the Australian Government's starting point on your aged care journey. Find and access the government-funded services you need.
  • Visit the website
Queensland Community Support Scheme (QCSS) (under 65)

If you need a small amount of help to keep or regain your independence, QCSS can help you to continue living safely in your home and actively participate in your community.

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

The NDIS takes a lifetime approach, investing early in people with disability and children with developmental delay to improve their outcomes later in life.

Psychological Support

After a cardiac ordeal, you may find yourself experiencing difficult emotions and moods. This may also happen if you had long term stressors before your cardiac episode.

Our psychologist or social worker is here to support you and appointments can be arranged through your nurse or by calling 1300 668 936

Psychologist or social worker appointment

Our psychologist or social worker is here to support you and appointments can be arranged through your nurse or by calling 1300 668 936

Helpful resources

Useful Links

Please take the time to view these educational resources recommended by our Doctors.

Heart Foundation Recovery Support and Resources

The Heart Foundation is the peak Australian body committed to preventing heart disease and improving the heart health and quality of life of all Australian through work in prevention, support and research. Phone 13 11 12 or visit the website.

  • My Heart, My Life – A resource with practical advice and assistance to understand and manage your heart health. The booklet can help you understand heart disease, treatments and tests, and how you can look after your heart health in hospital and after leaving. This booklet is for those diagnosed with heart disease and their support people. 
  • Heart attack recovery – After your treatment, you likely received instructions and a lot of information from your doctor. You may not remember a lot of what the doctors and nurses told you, especially during the first few days. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the staff. You can also talk to your family about what’s happening. 
HeartOnline Education Assessment Rehabilitation Toolkit

Here are some links to relevant videos:

Assessing Fitness to Drive

After your heart condition, there are often restrictions placed on driving. This is for your own safety and for the safety of others on the road. These driving restrictions are a legal requirement.

  • Your cardiac rehab nurse will have explained to you what restrictions apply and for further information, visit the website

Last updated 12 Apr 2024