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The Cardiac Rehabilitation Service is a multi-professional team working with a wide range of cardiac patients across Coventry and Rugby.

Cardiac rehabilitation gives you and your family the information, support and advice you need to return to everyday life. Cardiac rehabilitation is a vital part of your long term recovery, so consider it as important as taking your medication. Research has shown that cardiac rehab can reduce your risk of having another heart event, being readmitted to hospital and has a positive impact on your wellbeing and quality of life.

It is an individualised programme usually made up of a mix of exercise and education sessions. You may also be able to access it through other formats such as the Heart Manual or through other resources (Activate Your Heart) if you are unable to attend in person, or if you would rather do a home based programme.

This online programme will give you access to a comprehensive education programme, giving you the tools to address risk factors, advice about how to plan your recovery and what to expect from your programme of cardiac rehabilitation. You will also be provided with an  activity and exercise programme which you will be guided through by the Exercise team.

Anyone who has, or has had:

  • A heart attack
  • Angioplasty or stents (Rugby only)
  • Bypass surgery
  • Heart Valve repair or replacement
  • A heart transplant or ventricular assist devices
  • Stable heart failure (Rugby only)
  • An implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), or resynchronisation therapy (CRT) implant
  • Congenital heart disease

Cardiac rehab doesn’t change your past, but it can help you improve your heart’s future. Every little step you take towards heart health helps you take the next step, and the step after that.

  • Reduced risk of re-admission to hospital and further heart events
  • Improved confidence levels
  • A better understanding of your condition
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduced cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Improved energy and activity levels
  • Reduced stress and anxiety

Rugby Cardiac Rehabilitation Service

St Cross Hospital
Barby Road
CV22 5PX

01788 663463

Monday – Friday 8-4pm

Coventry Community Cardiac Rehab Service

Atrium Health Ltd,
Centre for Exercise and Health,
Watch Close,

02476  234570

Monday – Friday 8-4pm

Heart Failure Specialist Nurses, Hospital of St Cross.

Tel: 01788 663944.


Dr T Rajathurai (Cardiology Consultant and TAVI Lead)

Dr L Tapp (Cardiology Consultant)

Dr N Gangil (Cardiology Consultant)

Dr J Khan (Cardiology Consultant and imaging lead)

Lauren Deegan (Structural Heart Valve Clinical Nurse Specialist)

Cassie Faulconbridge (Secretary to all of the above)


To reduce your risk of heart disease and circulatory disease, you need to be physically active every day. You should aim to do at least 20 to 30 minutes of exercise a day - aiming to do 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week as advised by NHS England.

Moderate intensity physical activity should make you breath harder, feel warmer and make your heart beat faster. You should still be able to hold a normal conversation while you are active. Activities could include walking, gardening, swimming and cycling.

Physical activity, can reduce blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, reduce the risk of developing type two diabetes or help control diabetes if you have it, and achieve a healthier body weight. It will also help to give you more energy, feel more relaxed, sleep better, have better concentration and memory, and feel more confident.

Please see the BHF website for more detailed advice on understanding physical activity.

Using gym equipment
Swimming and other water-based activities
Strength Training

Excess alcohol consumption can lead to health complications such as abnormal heart rhythms, high blood pressure, heart failure and other health problems such as stroke, liver disease and certain cancers.

For important, sensible advice relating to alcohol:

Alcohol advice
Alcohol facts
Alcohol and your heart

High cholesterol can increase you risk of heart attack or stroke. You may have been prescribed cholesterol medicine called statins, but there are lots things you can do to by making small changes to your lifestyle which will also help towards reducing your cholesterol, such as eating well, and increasing physical activity.

Read more about the risks of raised cholesterol in more detail and practical advice on lifestyle changes.

High cholesterol advice
Cholesterol advice

Diabetes can increase the risk of heart disease and increase the risk of heart attack or a stroke. People with diabetes are also more likely to have certain conditions, or risk factors such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

If you have diabetes, you can protect your heart and reduce the associated risks by managing your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, by diet, exercise and sometimes medication.

The most common form of diabetes is type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes is more closely linked to being overweight; being physically inactive and can run in the family.

More guided information on the management of diabetes:
Diabetes advice
Type 2 Diabetes

Healthy eating is an important part of being healthy and reducing risk of future health problems.

Healthy eating will:

  • Reduce and regulate weight
  • Reduce and regulate cholesterol
  • Reduce and regulate blood pressure
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease or further heart disease
  • Improve and regulate blood glucose levels, reducing the risk of diabetes, or reducing the risk of damage caused by diabetes through tighter blood glucose control
  • Increased energy and concentration levels
  • Reduce the risk of certain cancers.

The Eatwell guide shows how much of what we eat overall should come from each food group to acheive a healthy, balanced diet.

Managing your weight
Heart health
Portion sizes
Omega 3
How to get your 5-a-day
Food labelling
Salt the facts

Want to know how to eat more healthily? The BHF Eat Better booklet is a comprehensive guide to help you make healthier food choices to reduce your risk of developing or worsening heart and circulatory diseases. It offers small changes towards a healthy, balenced diet with practical tips for everyday life.


High blood pressure (known as hypertension) is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease. When the heart is working under increased pressure it increases the risk of hypertensive heart disease including heart failure, thickening of the heart muscle, coronary artery disease, and other conditions.

You can help manage your blood pressure, by taking regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and minimising stress levels. High blood pressure will sometimes need to be managed by medication.

Blood pressure and its management in more detail:

Manage your blood pressure from home

Because negative psychological states – particularly stress - can hinder a person’s physical recovery, it is important that psychological wellbeing is addressed.

Normal reactions to a cardiac event can be shock, fear, loss, anger, sleep problems, relationship issues, and the intensification of earlier issues.  These usually ease as physical recovery is made.  Some people experience positive feelings after a cardiac event - joy, relief, gratitude – and it is important to hold on to such feelings.

Along with genetic and lifestyle factors, stress is a major contributor to cardiac disease. It is, however, possible to manage it more effectively and to reduce the risk it poses to your health.

Sleep well and tiredness
Stress, anxiety and depression
Mental wellbeing audio guides

Smoking increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, which includes coronary heart disease and stroke. Smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with people who have never smoked.

Stopping smoking has huge benefits and it’s never too late to give up.

As part of your cardiac rehabilitation we can help you to quit smoking and be smokefree for life. No lectures, just professional support and help when you need it most, free from the NHS.

Our friendly and professional cardiac rehab nurses can offer you one-to-one sessions (either face to face or over the telephone) at a time to suit most people.

For further information please ask your cardiac rehabilitation nurse.

Smoking advice

Following discharge from hospital or seeing your specialist you will have been prescribed medication for your heart.

The medication has been prescribed to reduce your risk of further disease progression, to reduce risk factors such as blood pressure and also to manage symptoms.

It’s important to know what you’re taking, why you are taking it, and how it will affect you.

Detailed information on the drugs prescribed for heart conditions:


Following a cardiac event or surgery, it’s important that you return to normal activities of daily living, incorporating physical activity. When returning to physical activity or just starting out, it needs to be appropriate for you and your diagnosis/stage of recovery.

The Cardiac Rehabilitation Service can help you through this stage. Below you will see a series of links to exercise videos designed for patients following a cardiac event or surgery. Once you have been reviewed by  your Exercise Specialist (this appointment will either be face to face or over the telephone),  they will guide you on what level of the programme you should start with.

You will then be asked to feedback on your progression using the exercise diary which you will be provided with. This enables the exercise team to assess and amend your exercise prescription as appropriate.

Step-by-step guide

Heart Surgery

Below are some links that contain useful information regarding your recent Cardiac Surgery, what to expect, how to aid your recovery and how to progress your activity levels over the next 6 weeks.

Coronary bypass surgery
Valve surgery
TAVI information

Post Surgery Exercises

Although you are limited with your activities for the next six weeks, it is very important that you maintain the range of movement around your neck, shoulders and spine to reduce stiffness and help with pain relief.

Post Surgery Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises are very important to improve your lung function post cardiac surgery. This may be a challenge due to pain and limited mobility, so we have put together some links and useful information for you.

You may well have been taught some of these exercises or techniques by your physiotherapist in hospital. If you need further clarification, please contact a member of the cardiac rehab team.

The active cycle of breathing techniques
How to cope with being short of breath - breathing exercises
How to cope with being short of breath - positions

Seated Exercise (coming soon)

Here are some seated exercises provided by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) you can follow if you have balance or mobility problems that limit your ability to get outside.

Please speak to your cardiac rehab team if you have any concerns.

Chair based activities
Five more chair based exercises