Exercise and Cardiac Rehabilitation

At Absolute Balance we believe there is no better combination than exercise and rehabilitation. So, it may come a surprise to hear that progress in the science of exercise was once hindered due to the notion that it was dangerous for patients with heart disease. Positively, that belief is no longer, and exercise is widely administered in prevention and treatment of cardiac conditions. Despite this progress, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is still considered to be the leading cause of death in developed nations, with an estimated 30% of heart disease linked to a sedentary lifestyle (Wise, Patrick, 2011).

The prevalence of exercise as a form of treatment is now so widely accepted the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends cardiac rehab be offered to everyone with cardiac disease. So how exactly can exercise help? Firstly, our heart is muscle and as such, it too can be affected by training mechanisms.  Common benefits include improvements in muscle strength, endurance, mass and metabolism. These benefits can lead to reduced risks of angina, enhanced coronary blood flow, reduced arrhythmias and blood pressure and improved survival rates after a cardiac event (Bethel, 1999). From a psychosocial perspective, aerobic and resistance training results in improved fitness and physical tolerance, allowing patients to return to work quicker. Both modes of training are also linked to improvements in quality of life, depression and fatigue scores.

Without a doubt, exercise is a major component of the rehabilitation process for individuals with a heart condition. It must be noted however that the patient be properly assessed prior to commencement and the programme appropriately tailored to each patient needs.

If you are interested to learn more on how exercise can positively affect cardiac health, contact us at Absolute Balance. After all, we are experts in exercise!

Ed Daccache, B.Ex.SpSc, Grad.Dip.Ex.Sc (AEP, AES) (ESSAM)
Accredited Exercise Physiologist


Bethell, H. J. (1999). Exercise in cardiac rehabilitation. British Journal of Sports Medicine33(2), 79–86. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1756146/

Franklin, B. A., Lavie, C. J., M.D., Squires, R. W., Milani, R. V., (2013). Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation and improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness: Implications regarding patient benefit. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 88(5), 431-7. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/docview/1352765163?accountid=10382

Wise, F.M., Patrick, J.M. (2011). Resistance Exercise in Cardiac Rehabilitation. Clinical Rehabilitation, 25(12), 1059-1065. DOI: 10.1177/0269215114234