Cardiac Rehabilitation

St. Joseph Hospital’s Cardiac Rehabilitation Program is a comprehensive approach to building a healthy lifestyle. Cardiac rehabilitation is designed to return you to optimal physical health and overall well-being after a heart attack, angioplasty or open heart surgery. After these events many people are reluctant to resume normal activities. Our cardiac rehabilitation program provides you with the confidence needed to start a safe exercise program. It consists of monitored exercise combined with educational seminars to help modify coronary risk factors.

Our Cardiac Rehabilitation staff is comprised of:

  • Specially trained nurses
  • Exercise physiologists
  • Dietitians
  • Health psychologists

The goals of cardiac rehabilitation include:

  • Improved exercise tolerance as well as overall strength, stamina and flexibility
  • Decreased anxiety and enhanced self-confidence
  • Assistance in desired lifestyle changes to control cardiac risk factors through management of diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol, smoking cessation, nutrition and stress management
  • Increased confidence and security so patients can resume their normal activities following a cardiac event.

Who benefits from Cardiac Rehabilitation?

  • Patients recovering from a heart attack, coronary artery bypass graft, angioplasty, stent, heart valve replacement or stable angina
  • Patients with peripheral arterial disease and claudication pain.

You must have a physician’s order and recent evaluation by your primary care physician or cardiologist. We review your progress with you throughout the program and your referring physician will also receive periodic reports about your progress.

Phases of Care

  • Phase I occurs in the hospital while patients are recovering from the cardiac event. Our cardiac rehabilitation staff discusses resumption of daily activities and mild exercises patients can do as an inpatient as well as exercises patients can do at home from the time of discharge to beginning the exercise program in the outpatient setting.
  • Phase II is the outpatient program consisting of monitored exercise and education. Phase II requires a physician referral and is covered by Medicare and most insurance plans. We begin with a personalized orientation that includes developing goals for risk factor management and the development of an individualized exercise program. The outpatient program utilizes telemetry equipment to monitor heart rate, heart rhythm and blood pressure during exercise and recovery. Your exercise plan may include work on the treadmill, stationary recumbent bicycle (Nustep), weights, and upper body exercises to increase strength and flexibility. This is offered 3 days a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • Phase III is our FIT or maintenance program that patients can transition into when they have met their fitness goals and Phase II has been completed. Fit for Life is a program that continues supervised exercise by our highly trained staff. It involves less heart monitoring but continues to track blood pressure trends and heart rates. Many patients find the camaraderie of working out with people with similar health conditions helpful. And, our patients and staff make this a very fun way to keep fit. Phase III is usually not covered by insurance, but the cost is very reasonable.

Cardiac Rehabilitation hours of operation

  • Phase II - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
    • Classes are held on the first floor of our Outpatient Pavilion located at 1140 W. La Veta Ave., Orange, CA 92868
  • Phase III (FIT) - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    • Classes are held at The Center for Heart and Vascular Wellness and Prevention (Suite 150), located at 1120 W. La Veta Ave., Orange, CA 92868

All classes start on the hour and last approximately 50 min with a 10-minute cool down period. If you have questions, please email us at