San Francisco VA Health Care System
Healthy Heart Program
Take control of your life.
Begin your journey to a healthier heart!
Cardiovascular disease affects more than 1 in 3 American adults and is the leading cause of death in the United States. Cardiac rehabilitation, also called cardiac rehab, is a medically supervised program designed to improve your cardiovascular health if you have experienced heart attack, heart failure, angioplasty or heart surgery. Cardiac rehab involves adopting heart-healthy lifestyle changes to address risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
The program is provides education and guidance on exercise, nutrition, medication use, stress management, and other ways to improve heart health.
Are you a Veteran who has experienced one or more of the following?
- Heart attack
- Cardiac stent placement
- Coronary artery bypass surgery
- Heart valve replacement
- Heart failure
- Chronic angina (chest discomfort with exertion)
If so, you may be eligible to participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program
The core components of a cardiac rehabilitation program include: exercise training, healthy eating, medication adherence, smoking cessation and stress management.
Scientific studies have shown that people who complete a cardiac rehabilitation program can increase their life expectancy by up to five years and have 27 percent lower cardiac death rates, 25 percent fewer fatal heart attacks, 21 percent nonfatal heart attacks, and an improved quality of life.
By completing this program you will have the opportunity to:
- Live longer and lessen your chances for another heart attack
- Reduce heart disease symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath
- Stop or reverse damage to your blood vessels in your heart
- Lessen the physical and emotional effects of heart disease
- Improve confidence and well-being
- Improve stamina and strength
- Get back to work or usual activities
- Maintain healthy weight
- Understand medications
- Be there for loved ones
Ready to enroll?
If you are interested in cardiac rehabilitation, ask your cardiologist or primary care provider for a referral.
- Cardiosmart* provides information about cardiovascular health and helps patients track blood pressure, weight, and physical activity.
- Heart.org* provides information about cardiac rehabilitation along with tools and resources to improve cardiovascular health.
- MyFitnessPal* and Lose It!* are user-friendly apps that track food intake, nutrition and physical activities. These apps have large databases of foods and beverages, allow users to save a nutrition profile or previously entered products, and have barcode readers for easy input.
- MOVE! behavioral health, nutrition, and physical activity handouts can help you lose weight, keep it off, and improve your health.
- Heart Healthy Toolbox* offers educational information about diet, nutrition, and physical activity.
- Go4Life* is designed to help you fit exercise and physical activity into your daily life.
- ExerciseMenu* provides free exercise instruction and demo videos.
- Mended Hearts* supports patients with heart disease and their caregivers using online tools and peer-to-peer support.
- Free Guided Meditations* from the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center.
- CDC 24/7: Saving Lives, Protecting People* helps smokers quit.
[Asterisked (*) links will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked website.]
- San Francisco VA Medical Center
Hours of Operation
- Monday - Friday