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 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.
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, which includes exercise physiologists and registered nurses, will provide health coaching and regular follow-up to help you manage symptoms, risk factors and medications . An exercise program involving 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.
Risk Factor Management
We offer exercise programming 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.
A referral from your doctor, cardiologist or specialist is required for the cardiac rehabilitation 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.
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 flexible payment options available.
The program fee for cardiac rehabilitation is not currently covered by Alberta Health Care. For some individuals, 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.
Cardiac rehabilitation (or rehab for short) is an 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) and can help in managing diagnosed heart conditions. In addition to exercise programming, cardiac rehab programs provide ongoing support for lifestyle and health behaviour changes, helping individuals manage their risk factors and medications to 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.
Many people of all ages who have heart conditions can benefit from a cardiac rehabilitation program. Participants who take part in our cardiac rehabilitation program have a history of:
- Acute coronary syndrome (STEMI, NSTEMI, unstable/stable angina)
- Congenital heart disease
- Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG)
- Valve surgery
- Heart failure
We have also adapted our 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
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 and plan.
Individuals will meet with a doctor before the test to review medical history and again after the test to review the results.
It is normal to feel nervous about starting an exercise program, especially following a heart event or surgery. Your rehab team will work with you teach you proper exercise techniques, such as warming up and stretching, and provide guidance on how to safely add in different types of activity and equipment to your routine. To ensure your exercise program is safe and effective for you, your rehab team will teach you how to monitor your intensity (or how hard you are working) during exercise and how to manage any symptoms that may arise with activity.
A support person is welcome to accompany you to all your scheduled appointments and education classes (note that classes are currently paused due to COVID-19). This support person other will not be able to be with you in the testing lab during your exercise stress test but can be present to discuss the results with you and the doctor after the test.
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.