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St. Mary’s Cardiac Rehab

A three-part program to help people with cardiovascular disease lead healthier, happier lives

If you have suffered a heart attack, are living with heart failure or recently had a cardiac procedure, you may benefit from regular aerobic exercise. Fueled by a healthy diet, exercise can help rebuild strength in your heart and lungs, improve your overall health and boost your quality of life. However, it is vital that you exercise the right way. St. Mary’s highly qualified Cardiac Rehabilitation staff works closely with your doctor to help you rebuild your cardiovascular strength in the safest way possible. We are here to help you feel better!

Learn about how St. Mary’s helped Jerry Woodie survive a “widow-maker”.

Phase I

Patient education at St. Mary’s Hospital 1230 Baxter St., Athens

Phase I Cardiac Rehabilitation takes place while you are hospitalized at St. Mary’s. This educational program covers many topics vital to your future well-being, including:

  • Signs and symptoms of a heart attack
  • Risk factors of heart disease
  • Smoking cessation
  • Hypertension
  • Cardiovascular exercise
  • Breaking down the barriers to exercise
  • Information on medications
  • Tips on remembering to take your medication
  • Helpful ways to control angina
  • Heart failure and how to manage it
  • Nutrition for a healthy heart

Phase II

Monitored exercise at St. Mary’s Hospital 1230 Baxter St., Athens 706.389.2915

Phase II Cardiac Rehabilitation is tailored to the needs of patients at risk of a cardiac condition or who have experienced any of a variety of heart conditions and procedures, including heart attack, heart surgery, angioplasty, coronary stenting, heart valve repair/replacement or heart transplant. This 12-week program uses carefully structured exercise sessions to help you improve the strength and function of your heart. Classes meet three days a week in the Cardiac Rehab Gym on the 2nd Floor of St. Mary’s Hospital. Our goal is to help you return to active living and enjoy each day to the fullest while helping to protect you against future heart trouble. During your exercise sessions, your heart rate and rhythm will be continuously monitored using a wireless system. Our staff will be able to record your heart function during your exercise session and share this information with your physician. Phase II Cardiac Rehab services are covered by Medicare and most managed care plans/insurance plans. A physician order is required to enter the program.

Phase III

Lifelong maintenance at St. Mary’s Wellness Center 2470 Daniells Bridge Road, Athens, inside The Exchange 706.389.3355

Phase III Cardiac Rehab helps people who have made good progress in their recovery or who have successfully completed a Phase II program and want to continue to reduce their risk of cardiac problems. Phase III also may be helpful for patients diagnosed with heart failure. Phase III emphasizes exercise and education to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You will participate in regular exercise classes at St. Mary’s Wellness Center, where the staff will work with you to develop and maintain a fitness plan tailored to your individual needs and goals. During classes, you will be able to move freely through the Wellness Center’s spacious exercise area and will be closely observed by trained staff in case any problems arise. Education about lifestyle choices, healthy eating, stress reduction and more is available on an ongoing basis. A physician order is required. Equipment offered for Phase III clients includes:

  • Stationary bikes
  • Arm ergometers
  • Treadmills
  • Free weights
  • Stair-steppers
  • Rowing machines
  • Elliptical trainers
  • Recumbent steppers
  • Strength training equipment

St. Mary’s is certified by The Joint Commission as a Center for Heart Failure Care.

Benefits of Cardiac Rehab

St. Mary’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program uses aerobic exercise to help you feel better by:

  • Strengthening your heart so that you can increase your tolerance for exercise and other activities, including household chores and other aspects of daily living
  • Controlling high blood pressure (hypertension), a major contributing factor to cardiovascular disease
  • Increasing “good” cholesterol (HDL) while decreasing total cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol (LDL)
  • Decreasing total body fat, which helps reduce the workload on your heart. To accomplish this goal, you must also include a healthy, well-balanced diet
  • Increasing coronary collateral vascularization, which means increasing the number of blood vessels that bring blood and oxygen directly to your heart muscle
  • Reducing stress, a proven benefit of exercise
  • Enhancing your ability to sleep, another benefit of exercise that can boost your heart health and reduce stress
  • Providing a social network for people who have had a cardiac event. Cardiac rehab programs often become a “second family” for the participants, many of whom take comfort in getting to know others who share their feelings and concerns.

Hours of Operation:

Cardiac Phase II
7:30a.m. – 2:30p.m.
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Cardiac Rehab Phase III
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
7:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m.St. Mary’s Health Care System