Online Patient Education Library

A online resource library to help you take charge of your heart health.

What is Cardiac Rehabilitation?

Joining a cardiac rehabilitation program is an important step on the road to recovery following a heart attack, heart event or surgery. Our 12-week cardiac rehabilitation program includes supervised exercise, education and health coaching to support you in making lasting health behaviour changes and improve your heart health.

People who participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program reduce their chances of future hospitalizations and emergency room visits, can return to their daily activities and workplace sooner, and enjoy improved quality of life.

To learn more about our program, click here.

The TotalCardiology Rehabilitation program is one of the largest outpatient programs in Canada. Each year our program helps thousands of people improve their physical fitness and heart health.

Our program serves the Alberta Health Services – Calgary Zone boundaries. If you are from outside of Calgary, our office will automatically send your referral to your local program.

What to bring to your appointment

  • Alberta Health Card + Photo ID
  • If English is a second language, please bring an interpreter with you
  • A list of your medications - including the name of the medication, how often you take it, and the amount you take.

Patient Forms + Instructions

An exercise stress test will be scheduled for you when it is safe to do so.  If you have recently had surgery, a recovery period is needed before we can schedule this appointment.
An exercise stress test tells us how your heart works during physical activity so that a safe exercise program can be developed to fit your abilities.
Please read the instructions for how to prepare for this test prior to your appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Note that many of the FAQs relate to our standard cardiac rehab program and not the modified programming currently in place due to COVID-19.

There is no program fee, large group exercise sessions or onsite education classes during this time. 

What services does TotalCardiology Rehabilitation Offer?

TotalCardiology Rehabilitation offers a variety of programs:

Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

A 12-week exercise, education and health-coaching program for those recovering from a heart event, heart surgery or living with a heart condition.  Your rehab team - exercise physiologists and registered nurses - will provide you with support and health coaching during onsite exercise sessions or via regular phone follow-up for home-based programming. An exercise program involving a variety of activities that fit your abilities will be developed to help you safely improve your physical and cardiovascular fitness. These may include walking, running, biking, stretching and more – whatever you can do and are comfortable doing.

In addition to exercise programming and ongoing follow-up from your rehab team, our program will provide information and tools to help you improve your heart health and maintain these changes once you have completed the program. These resources are easily accessible online and can also be provided in hard copy to patients if needed. Reviewing these educational resources will enhance your experience in the program and help you to be more successful in reaching your goals for heart health.

Medically-Supervised Exercise Program

We offer medically-supervised exercise and risk factor management to other groups of patients with chronic conditions, including those with medically-managed peripheral artery disease (non-limb threatening ischemia, ventricular assist device, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and bladder cystectomy. 

Risk Reduction and Screening

For those with a family history of heart disease or individuals wanting to know their cardiovascular fitness level or risk of developing heart disease, our comprehensive Heart Health Assessment provides a detailed overview of your personal risk factors and a plan to help manage and reduce your risk. There is a fee for this service.

How do I sign up for one of your programs?

A referral from your doctor, cardiologist or specialist is required for the cardiac rehabilitation and medically-supervised exercise program.

Individuals who want to determine their level of heart fitness and risk of developing heart disease can undergo a heart health assessment without a doctor referral.  There is a fee for this service.

What is the fee for your cardiac rehabilitation program?

Note: The program fee is temporarily paused as a result of COVID-19.

There is no cost for the initial doctor’s appointment to determine if the cardiac rehabilitation program is right for you. Our regular program fee to start cardiac rehabilitation is $500. We have financial assistance and monthly payment options available. 

 

Are your programs and services covered by Alberta Health Care?

The program fee for cardiac rehabilitation is not currently covered by Alberta Health Care. For some patients, the program fee may be deducted through personal insurance coverage or covered through an extended health benefits plan (personal or spousal).

Some medical expenses not covered by provincial health care or private insurance may qualify as tax deductible medical expenses under Canada Revenue Agency legislation. For a list of tax eligible, tax-deductible medical expenses, visit the Canada Revenue Agency page on Claiming Eligible Medical Expenses on your Tax Returns.

What is cardiac rehabilitation and medically-supervised exercise?

Cardiac rehabilitation (or rehab for short) is a medically-supervised exercise, education and health coaching program to help people recover from heart event (such as a heart attack) or heart surgery (procedures such as stenting and angioplasty). In addition to exercise programming, cardiac rehab programs provide ongoing support and education on lifestyle and health behaviours to help patients manage risk factors and reduce the risk of future heart problems and hospitalizations.

A rehab team of registered nurses and clinical exercise physiologists will work with patients to:

  • Help reduce the risk of future heart problems
  • Improve one's ability to perform daily activities
  • Lessen symptoms brought on by every day activity
  • Minimize risk of potential exercise-related complications
  • Provide information and support about managing one's condition 
  • Improve level of physical fitness and regain strength

The exercise program involves a variety of activities that fit your abilities. These may include walking, running, biking, stretching and more – whatever you can do and are comfortable doing.

Who needs a cardiac rehabilitation program?

Many people of all ages who have heart conditions can benefit from a cardiac rehabilitation program.  Patients who take part in our cardiac rehabilitation program have a history of:

  • Acute coronary syndrome (STEMI, NSTEMI, unstable/stable angina)
  • Angioplasty
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)
  • Valve surgery
  • Heart failure

We have also adapted our medically-supervised exercise program to serve additional groups of patients in managing chronic conditions, including:

  • Medically-managed peripheral artery disease (non-limb threatening ischemia),
  • Ventricular assist device
  • Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)
  • Bladder cystectomy
What is an exercise stress test?

All referred participants will have an exercise stress test to see if the the program is right for them. An exercise stress test is done by walking on a treadmill. If unable to walk on a treadmill,  a bike or arm ergometer test may be done instead.

An exercise stress test provides the doctor with information about how your heart works during physical activity. The test can show whether enough blood flows to your heart when it's working hard. This helps to determine:

  • Your likelihood of having coronary artery disease (CAD) or to see how serious this disease is in those who are known to have it;
  • If you have any abnormal heart rhythms;
  • The effectiveness of your current treatment plan – including medications and procedures like angioplasty;
  • A safe and effective exercise intensity to start an exercise program at.

Individuals will meet with a doctor before the test to review medical history and conduct a checkup and again after the test to review the results.

What if I don’t know how to use exercise equipment?

It is normal to feel nervous about starting an exercise program, especially if you aren’t familiar with exercise equipment.  Your rehab team will work with you to teach you proper exercise techniques, such as warming up and stretching, how to use various exercise equipment safely (including treadmills, elliptical trainers, resistance tubing, and stationary bikes), and the importance of monitoring how hard you are working through the 'talk test' or target heart rate’ during aerobic exercise.

Can I bring a guest to my appointments or education classes?

A support person is welcome to accompany you to all your scheduled appointments and education classes. This support person other will not be able to be with you in the treadmill lab during your exercise stress test but can be present to discuss the results of the test with you and the doctor after the test.

Where are you located?

Our main clinic office is located on the lower level of Repsol Sport Centre at 2225 Macleod Trail South.

For maps and directions, click here.