Rehabilitation After Heart Attack

Table of contents:

Rehabilitation After Heart Attack
Rehabilitation After Heart Attack
Video: Rehabilitation After Heart Attack
Video: What to expect in cardiac rehabilitation after heart attack 2023, February

Heart attack: rehabilitation & aftercare

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), rehabilitation is defined as “the sum of all measures that are required to ensure the best possible physical, mental and social condition of the patients so that they can regain a normal place in society on their own be able to lead an active life”. Cardiovascular patients follow a structured rehabilitation program that consists of three different phases…


  • Continue reading
  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • Rehabilitation goals
  • Building blocks of rehabilitation
  • Three steps to successful rehabilitation
  • Follow-up care after a heart attack
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

Rehabilitation goals

The rehabilitation has the following goals:

  • Re-entry into the work process,
  • Reduction of the need for care,
  • Reduction of risk factors,
  • Support with psychological and social problems in order to ensure that patients are reintegrated as completely as possible into their social environment.

Building blocks of rehabilitation

  • Physical component: Patients carry out individual physical training under cardiological supervision. The aim is to improve physical performance. This program also includes the therapeutic management of disorders of lipid metabolism, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity (metabolic syndrome).
  • Educational component : Patients are prepared for everyday life - and trained with regard to a healthy diet, lifestyle, medication intake and potential side effects.
  • Psychological component: Around ten percent of heart attack patients develop depression. This reduces the quality of life and increases the risk of a new heart attack. Therefore, the accompanying psychological care is an important contribution to recovery.
  • Social component: The patients should also be reintegrated into their social environment as quickly as possible.

Three steps to successful rehabilitation

Cardiovascular patients follow a structured rehabilitation program that consists of three phases:

  • Phase I (early mobilization in the acute hospital): This begins as early as possible and includes early mobilization from bed.
  • Phase II (outpatient or inpatient rehabilitation): This phase should begin as soon as possible after the hospital stay in order to further support the recovery progress and to slowly accustom the heart to increasing stress. In outpatient rehabilitation, the patient lives at home and takes part in rehabilitation programs in a hospital or rehabilitation center several times a week. In inpatient rehabilitation, the patient lives in a rehabilitation center for several weeks.
  • Phase III (long-term rehabilitation): In this phase, care is provided by the family doctor or the specialist in cardiology. Care is taken to ensure that the patient does not fall back into old patterns. Laboratory controls as well as blood pressure and blood sugar measurements are carried out regularly in order to detect any increase in risk at an early stage. This should support the further progress of recovery and maintain the state of health.

Follow-up care after a heart attack

Increased physical performance reduces the risk of another heart attack and helps those affected to participate actively in life again. Exercise and exercise are almost as important after a heart attack as taking regular medication.

Exercise improves cardiac output

The pumping function of the remaining heart muscles can be significantly strengthened through gentle training. Exercise and sport improve the performance of the heart and have a positive effect on obesity and on fat metabolism. This reduces the risk of reinfarction.

Exercise training after a heart attack must take place under medical supervision in order to find the right level. So-called coronary training is particularly beneficial as part of rehabilitation. This is individually tailored to the patient and ensures that there is no excessive demands at the beginning and that the physical activity is gradually increased accordingly. During the training, all parameters such as heartbeat, duration and intensity are determined, so that after rehabilitation training alone is possible.

Suitable and unsuitable sports

Sports that involve short-term high loads are generally not suitable for people with heart disease. Endurance sports, on the other hand, can be practiced without any problems at initially low intensity.

Examples of suitable sports:

  • fast walking or hiking
  • Nordic walking
  • slow running
  • To go biking
  • Cross-country skiing
  • swim

Examples of unsuitable sports:

  • "Stop and go" sports (including tennis, soccer, squash, badminton)
  • Mountain biking
  • Weight training with heavy weights

Whom can I ask?

Rehabilitation in a cardiac rehabilitation center is recommended after a heart attack. In most cases, the application required for this is submitted directly at the hospital by the treating doctor.

  • You can find more information on the subject of "Application for rehabilitation" under Rehabilitation and spa stay.
  • You can find rehabilitation centers for cardiovascular diseases under Services:

    Search for rehabilitation centers.

Where can I find the necessary forms?

All social security application forms can be found on the social security website under “Forms”. First select your responsible insurance provider on the social security page and then select the required form.

How are the costs going to be covered?

The rehabilitation costs during the hospital stay are covered by social insurance. For further outpatient or inpatient rehabilitation measures, a medical prescription is required, which must be approved by the responsible social insurance agency. A deductible (income-dependent) is provided for inpatient stays in a rehabilitation center.

You can find more information on rehabilitation on the social security website.

Popular by topic