What is the Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme?

The Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme offered by Singapore Sport and Exercise Medicine Centre @ CGH (SSMC@CGH) refers to a specialized, individually-tailored exercise programme for patients with cardiovascular condition in Phase II rehabilitation. This patient group includes people who have myocardial infarct, coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), stable angina pectoris, and other cardiac conditions.

The programme includes warm-up, endurance aerobic activity, cool-down, and for identified patients, low resistance/high repetition muscle toning activities.

Why Might I need a Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme?

Most of us are unsure of the right intensity we should be exercising at, especially after the diagnosis of a heart problem. Training at a randomly selected intensity can lead to under-training or over-training, which can be detrimental to our health.

Cardiac rehabilitation allows the physician and physiotherapist to assess the patient prior to prescribing the maximal safe exercises according to the patient’s cardiovascular fitness. This will be done within the safe cardiovascular parameters of the patient while ensuring that the patient is progressing within their limits.

How can I benefit from the Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme?

Before attending the Cardiac Rehabilitation Programme, patients will undergo a treadmill exercise test to determine their fitness level. The results will be used by the physiotherapist to prescribe the appropriate mode, duration and intensity of exercise for the patient.

Without an objective measurement of our fitness level, most of us are unsure of the right intensity we should be training at. Training at a randomly selected intensity levels can lead to under-training or over-training.

Are there other similar programmes?

No, currently the cardiac rehabilitation programme is the only programme that prescribes appropriate exercises for cardiac patients.

Who can undergo the cardiac rehabilitation programme?

The programme is suitable for patients with the following cardiac conditions:

  • Myocardial infarct
  • Have Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG)
  • Stable Angina Pectoris
  • Documented Coronary Artery Disease
  • Pacemakers; especially associated with one or more of the above diagnosis
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Cardiac Transplantation / Cardiomyoplasty
  • Interventional Procedures: PTCA / Stent insertion
  • Valve Repair / Replacement / Valvuloplasty
  • Moderate Valvular Heart Disease

In the event where the programme is unsuitable for certain cardiac conditions, you may need to consult a cardiologist before undergoing the programme.

How will I feel during the exercise?

During the cardiac rehabilitation programme, you will exercise on machines such as the treadmill, leg cycle and arm ergometer. During the exercises, you will be monitored for your heart rate, blood pressure, and rate of perceived exertion. During the exercise, if you feel any symptoms of breathlessness, pain or giddiness, please inform the physiotherapist or sports trainer immediately. They may ask you to decrease the intensity of exercise or stop and rest.

What are the risks?

As with all exercises, there are some risks involved. However, measures have been taken to minimise the risks of exercises in this supervised hospital setting.

How do I sign up for the programme?

The programme is offered through the referral of cardiologists from Changi General Hospital only. Please consult our cardiologists for assessment first.