Cambridge Cardiac Care Centre

P.R.E.V.E.N.T.: Your Cardiac rehab & Risk-reversal clinic

Our risk-reversal program may be for you.

If you answer yes to any 1 of these 12 questions, talk to your healthcare provider.

  1. Have you had a heart attack or stroke?
  2. Have you had angina or chest pain?
  3. Are you recovering from cardiac surgery?
  4. Do you have a pacemaker or other cardiac implant?
  5. Have you had an angioplasty?
  6. Do you have diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure?
  7. Are you or have you been a smoker?
  8. Has your physician told you that you are at high-risk of developing heart disease?
  9. Do you have congestive heart failure?
  10. Do you have congenital heart disease?
  11. Do you have atrial fibrillation?
  12. Do you have a family history of heart disease or stroke?

Just one ‘yes’ makes you a candidate for the P.R.E.V.E.N.T. cardiac rehabilitation and risk-reversal program.*

*By referral only.

P.R.E.V.E.N.T.: Your Cardiac Rehab & Risk-reversal Clinic

Regain control of your heart-health and make a change for life!

Our medically supervised, outpatient program involves an individualized exercise coaching and diet plan, group education and one-on-one counselling. Supported by a diverse team of practitioners, the program is tailored to your abilities, lifestyle and your medical condition.The goal is to stabilize, slow or, in some cases, even reverse the progression of cardiovascular disease; preventing future cardiac events from ever happening. But there is no easy fix. It takes work. It requires commitment. Given that, it delivers results, possibly adding years to your life!

The P.R.E.V.E.N.T. Team

The most important member of the team is you.

Creating a robust rehabilitation program like this requires the input and expertise of a diverse team of professionals. Together, they will develop a care-plan that is right for you. It requires dedication on everyone’s part, especially yours. But don’t worry; you won’t do it alone. You will benefit from the support of the physicians, nurses, kinesiologist, dietician, pharmacist, coaches & counsellors who make up your care team. Cardiac rehab & Risk-reversal is a team effort with you at the heart of it all.

Patient Education

Cardiac rehabilitation & Riskreversal simplified

What is involved in Cardiac rehab & Risk-reversal?

Whether you have been referred to us after a cardiac event or your physician is concerned about escalating risk factors, your Cardiac rehab & Risk-reversal journey will include these three elements:

EDUCATION - At the heart of everything is understanding your situation and what you can do about it. We have developed a week-long lecture series that kicks-off the cardiac rehab program. The lecture series runs every month for newly enrolled patients. Depending on the needs of each group, the lectures may include a combination of topics including:

  1. medication education
  2. dietary changes
  3. smoking cessation
  4. diabetes management
  5. stress management
  6. yoga and mindfulness instruction
  7. introduction to CPR and resuscitation
  8. And more...

EXERCISE TRAINING - You may be referred to us after undergoing a major cardiac event, receiving a diagnosis of new heart disease or being identified with elevated-risk for future cardiac events. Such a life altering experience can bring on a new type of anxiety; it can be scary incorporating physical activity back into your life, not knowing what is and is not safe to do. With medically-supervised and individualized training in a group-gym, cardiac rehab will reintroduce exercise in a safe and motivating way, altering your life for the better.

LIFESTYLE COUNSELLING - Dietary counselling is a cornerstone of Cardiac rehab & Risk-reversal and is available to patients throughout the program. As well, smoking cessation counselling is available for those who need it.

If you are experiencing elevated life-stress, anxiety, anger or depression, rest assured that you are not alone. These are very normal reactions to a cardiac event and heart disease diagnosis. We will help you with this too.

After the initial assessment, your clinic coordinator will meet you for a weekly check-in.

How do I get an appointment?

The P.R.E.V.E.N.T. clinic can only accept patients into the Cardiac rehab & Risk-reversal program with a referral from a healthcare provider. Ask your practitioner to fill out and fax the referral form to our office.

If you were admitted to hospital for a cardiac event or heart surgery, a cardiac rehabilitation referral should be made automatically upon discharge: you should receive a call from us within a few weeks of returning home. If you have not received a call from us to book a date for your first appointment, please contact your healthcare provider to send the referral from.

What can you expect at your appointment?

Most P.R.E.V.E.N.T. appointments, including your initial assessment, take about 1 hour. It is important to be on time since a single appointment at the P.R.E.V.E.N.T. clinic can impact the scheduling of multiple service providers and fellow patients. As well, please give the courtesy of a 48-hours cancellation or rescheduling notice.

On the day of your appointment, dress in comfortable exercise clothing. Remember to bring:

  • Your 3-Day Diary- record everything you eat and drink along with what exercise you have done over the last three days
  • Medications list--please have a list ready of all the medications you are taking, including herbal supplements, along with their dosage and frequency
  • Running shoes/sneakers--please do not wear your indoor running shoes to the office. We must protect our testing and exercise equipment from the weathering elements.
  • OHIP Card
  • A Support Person--if reading or writing is difficult for you or if English is not your preferred language, it may be easier for you to have a trusted support person with you at your first appointment to help you however you need.

At each P.R.E.V.E.N.T. clinic appointment, your blood pressure and weight will be checked and medical reports will be reviewed. At your first appointment, and at set intervals throughout the P.R.E.V.E.N.T. process, we will conduct an ECG test to check the electrical functioning of your heart along with any other cardiac tests that are appropriate to your condition.

A clinic coordinator or nurse will review your 3-day diary of diet, drink and exercise as well as any symptoms or concerns you may have. Finally, they will discuss areas of your cardiovascular health that need improvement and will provide you with a “report card” that you will bring to each appointment to be updated weekly. The report card will provide you with an ongoing record of your heart-health status and progress. It will summarize your health and lifestyle goals, list community resources to help you achieve your goals, and keep updated recommendations of medication and lifestyle interventions to further reduce your cardiovascular risk. You may not see the cardiologist at all of these appointments, but they do supervise and coordinate all cardiac care individually, for you, at the clinic.

How to prepare for a Cardiac rehab & Risk-reversal class?

Your clinic coordinator will provide you with an updated exercise class list as well as a list of the lectures recommended for you during your education week of seminars. Please arrive 15 minutes before the beginning of the class to ensure your registration and seat is secured.

Exercise classes run 45-50 minutes each. Remember to bring the following:

  1. Indoor running shoes (bring them rather than wearing them to class)
  2. Comfortable exercise clothes
  3. Water
  4. Exercise Diary: please submit your diary to the exercise class supervisor when you arrive
  5. Glucometer
  6. A snack (if you are diabetic)

Education week lectures run from 1 to 2 hours in length depending on the topic. Any necessary lecture materials will be provided to you. Simply remember to bring a bottle of water and, if you are diabetic, a healthy snack.

P.R.E.V.E.N.T. Cardiac Rehab Patient Flowchart
P.R.E.V.E.N.T. Cardiac Rehab Patient Flowchart

By referral only

Contact your primary healthcare provider.

As the foundational service of the non-profit P.R.E.V.E.N.T. clinic, the Cardiac rehab & Risk-reversal program is free-of-charge to patients. However, a referral is required from a healthcare provider. Talk to your doctor or nurse practitioner to see if you are a candidate for this life-saving and life-enhancing program.

Reverse your disease with cardiac rehab!

Cardiac rehab could rewind the clock on your arteries, reversing your plaque build-up, bit by bit, which means a longer, more enjoyable life! Results of comparative studies show that heart patients who do not enrol in cardiac rehab, have a 5.4% increase in arterial plaque in the first year alone, building up to 27.7% in year five. Meanwhile, patients who maintain cardiac rehab actually have a 4.5% REDUCTION of plaque build-up in the first year and a 7.9% reduction by year five*.

* Ornish D, Scherwitz LW, Billings JH, et al. Intensive Lifestyle Changes for Reversal of Coronary Heart Disease. JAMA. 1998;280(23):2001–2007. doi:10.1001/jama.280.23.2001

Cardiac rehab reduces chest pain!

Studies found that with consistent cardiac rehabilitation over the course of one year, patients experienced a 91% reduction in the frequency of chest pain.*

* Bellmann, B., Lin, T., Greissinger, K. et al. The Beneficial Effects of Cardiac Rehabilitation. Cardiol Ther 9, 35–44 (2020).
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Cardiac rehab: an antidote to depression?

Studies show that a cardiac rehab program that includes exercise, diet and psychosocial counselling reduces depression symptoms by 67%*.

* Lavie, C. J. Milani, R.V. (2000) Benefits of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Exercise Training, Chest Journal, Volume 117, Issue 1

Why motivation has nothing to do with it.

The importance of showing up, even when you don’t feel like it.

We know; it can be difficult to start a cardiac rehabilitation program when you’re not feeling well. You’ve been through a lot and the last thing you may want is more change. Even though you know that these changes could ease your suffering in the long run, it’s hard to find the motivation.

The good news is, you don’t need to be motivated to start. There are plenty of things we do in our day-to-day lives without motivation. We don’t usually spring out of bed in hurried anticipation so we can excitedly brush our teeth, for example, but we do it each morning just the same. The truth is that while the lucky few have a natural drive, most of us feel more resistance than motivation. So, at the P.R.E.V.E.N.T. Cardiac rehab & Risk-reversal clinic, you don’t need to be motivated, but you need to come anyway.

The team at P.R.E.V.E.N.T. can guide you through fear and anxiety as you take your first step to heart-health… and then your second and so on. Cardiac rehabilitation & Risk-reversal can help you rebuild your life, both physically and emotionally. As you get stronger, build stamina and learn how to manage your condition, you'll likely return to your regular routine, with new and improved diet and exercise habits as part of your new normal. Before you know it, you’ll have returned to an active lifestyle, building more and more energy to do the things you enjoy. And it all started that day you didn’t feel motivated but you did it anyway.

Cardiac Rehab Education Week Lectures

Introduction to Cardiac Rehab Seminar- Free

Michelle

Hearing that you or a family member has heart disease can be distressing. Learn what you can do to help prevent, treat and potentially even reverse it! What is Cardiac Rehab? What can you expect when you attend cardiac rehab? Family members and caregivers are welcome invited to attend.

Watch the archived video

Introduction to Cardiac Rehab Seminar-Free

Michelle

Hearing that you or a family member has heart disease can be distressing. Learn what you can do to help prevent, treat and potentially even reverse it! What is Cardiac Rehab? What can you expect when you attend cardiac rehab? Family members and caregivers are welcome invited to attend.

Stress Management Seminar- Free

Learn about the surprising relationship between stress & heart disease and what you can do about it! By the end of this seminar, you will have learned a number of practical stress management strategies that you can put to use right away. Bring your questions for our stress management counselor. Family members and caregivers are invited to attend.

Watch the archived video

Understanding Cardiac Medications Seminar- Free

Michelle

Learn about the medications you take and how they work and what to do if you encounter side effects. Bring your questions for our cardiac pharmacist. Family members and caregivers are invited to attend.

Watch the archived video

Diabetes 101 Seminar-for Heart Disease Prevention- Free

Nina
Michelle

How much do you know about diabetes? What can you eat? What can you do? What tools are available for you to manage your disease? Know your numbers. Know what your diabetes medications do. Bring your questions for our cardiac pharmacist and diabetes educator, family members and caregivers are invited to attend.

Watch the archived video

Understanding Congestive Heart Failure Seminar- Free

Ian

Heart failure can sound like a very scary thing. Learn about your disease and what you can do to do to get better. Bring your questions for our heart failure nurse, family members and caregivers are invited to attend.

Watch the archived video

Dietitian Seminar- Free

Sonia

With so many diets and so many choices, what should you eat for your heart health? What’s the deal with keto, DASH or Paleo diets? Get guidance from a registered dietitian. family members, caregivers, grocery runners, and home chefs are invited to attend.

Watch the archived video

Additional Lectures

Exercise guidelines and progressions

Exercise following a cardiac event can be scary, but if done and progressed correctly it can lead to many health and life-saving benefits. Learn about the core components including aerobic, resistance and flexibility training that should be included in your exercise program. Guidelines on knowing when it is safe to progress your exercise program are also provided.

Exercise Safety

What should I do if I develop angina with exercise? How do I monitor my exercise to know it is safe? How do I avoid problems during exercise? These are just some of the important questions answered in this lecture from our cardiac rehab specialists.

Exercising in inclement weather conditions

Exercising in inclement weather including hot and cold temperatures can impose different risks for people living with heart disease. Here we cover important information on how to safely exercise during inclement weather and how to adjust your exercise program. The risks associated with snow shoveling are also addressed.

Resistance Training

Resistance training is a form of exercise where the muscles of the body are working against a given resistance often with weights, your body weight or bands. Here we cover the benefits of resistance training, screening for resistance training and provide resources as well as recommendations for performing your resistance training safely at home when living with heart disease. Please bring any questions that you have about resistance training to your cardiac rehab specialists at your next appointment.

Cardiac Adaptations to exercise (Heart Benefits of exercise)

Your heart is a muscle/pump that is made up of an electrical system, cambers and valves that provide the rest of the body with blood supply. In this lecture we will discuss the structure and function of the heart, common heart conditions and procedures as well as the heart benefits of exercise following a cardiac event.