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Cardiac Rehabilitation at University of Colorado Hospital

AACVPR certified cardiovascular rehabilitation

Our Cardiovascular Rehabilitation
Immediate Outpatient program is
certified by the AACVPR. Certified
AACVPR programs are recognized as
leaders in the field of cardiovascular
and pulmonary rehabilitation.

Why Choose Cardiac Rehabilitation at University of Colorado Hospital?

Your circulatory problem was diagnosed, and any procedure you had was successful. You've completed the first step back to heart health. We can help you get the rest of the way there.

UCH has a full-service cardiac rehabilitation program, featuring:

  • A private workout gym for cardiovascular patients
  • Medically supervised exercise programs
  • Personalized nutrition and diet counseling
  • Classes on managing your health, exercising safely and more
  • Support groups

Benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation

Among the benefits of cardiac rehabilitation at UCH:

  • Improved overall health
  • Improved quality of life
  • Reduced pain and less need for pain medications
  • Reduced risk factors for future heart problems

Many who regularly participate in a cardiac rehabiliation program also reduce stress and become more self-sufficient.

Program Phases

The Cardiovascular Rehabilitation program at University of Colorado Hospital has five phases:

I. Inpatient Cardiovascular Rehabilitation

Phase I begins when the patient is in University of Colorado Hospital recovering from a cardiovascular episode such as a heart attack or stroke. These patients receive:

  • Information on heart, valve and/or vascular disease
  • Education on managing risk factors
  • Guidance for setting up a safe home exercise program

II. Immediate Outpatient Cardiovascular Rehabilitation

Phase II teaches patients how to manage heart, valve and vascular disease risk through lifestyle changes.

Cardiac fitness

In addition, patients follow an exercise regimen that includes:

  • Warm-ups and stretching
  • Monitored exercise sessions with frequent checks of blood pressure, heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, etc., by staff
  • Work on various types of equipment, including treadmills, bikes, rowers and steps
  • Cool-down and relaxation sessions
  • Resistance training
  • Exercise prescription that includes development of a program for home exercise

III. Intermediate Maintenance Cardiovascular Rehabilitation

Phase III (Intermediate Maintenance) is for patients who need to improve their conditioning with staff assistance and monitoring. Patients can only participate in intermediate maintenance with a doctor’s order.

IV. Long-Term Maintenance Cardiovascular Rehabilitation

Phase IV is long-term maintenance for patients who have completed the immediate and intermediate phases. The program is geared to individual exercise, but the staff provides supervision and monitoring of blood pressure, heart rate and recovery.

V. Preventive Maintenance

The preventive maintenance phase is for patients who are at risk for cardiovascular disease, but have not yet had an incident. Patients must have a doctor’s referral to participate. The program includes:

  • Education on heart disease and stroke
  • Exercise prescriptions developed by staff
  • Home program development plans
  • Resistance training
  • Monitoring of vital signs once a month

Medical Team

Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialists

Cardiac monitoring

Cardiologist - a doctor who specialize in study of the actions of the heart and its diseases.

Exercise physiologist - a specialist in the cardiovascular and other effects of exercise on the body’s physical and mechanical functions.


Other Cardiac Rehabilitation Staff

Registered nurse - a nurse licensed in the state of Colorado who conducts medical evaluations, takes patient histories and provides after care for patients

Cardiac Patient Rehabilitation

Cardiac Rehabilitation at a Glance

Cardiac rehabilitation is a program you follow to restore your heart’s functional capacity, which may have been reduced as a result of:

Cardiac rehabilitation includes:

  • Exercise to strengthen your heart muscle
  • Education to help you maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle
  • Behavior modification (e.g., quitting smoking and improving your diet)


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  • Fundamentals of Critical Care Support

    This course is a 2 ½ day comprehensive course addressing fundamental management principles for the first 24 hours of critical care. The course purpose is to better prepare the non-intensivist and the multidisciplinary critical care team for the first 24 hours of management of the critically ill patient until transfer or appropriate critical care consultation can be arranged. Preparation of the multidisciplinary critical care team is optimized for management of acute deterioration of the critically ill patient. The FCCS course utilizes both lecture/didactic material and skills stations with simulation for integration of practice concepts in critical care.

  • ACLS Initial Class
  • Fetal Monitoring Instructor Course - AWHONN