Cardiac Rehabilitation (or Cardiac Rehab) is an exercise programme that’s been proven to help people recover and go on to lead a relatively normal life after a cardiac event. The NHS hospital-based programme, known as ‘Phase III’, is provided by the Cardiac team and usually runs for 6-8 weeks.
Our community-based cardiac rehab classes follow-on from Phase III and are often referred to as Phase IV. Unlike the NHS programme, our classes are ongoing, so you can attend as many as you like each week for as long as you want: many of our members have been coming along for over a decade.
Our classes follow a similar format to the Phase III programme, with an aerobic warm-up, followed by circuits using a range of equipment, and finishing with a gentle cool down.
For heart patients with no contraindications, we recommend doing at least one cardiac rehab class a week, in addition to daily exercise such as walking, cycling or swimming.
Quite simply, because research shows that as well as helping with your medium- to long-term recovery, regular exercise could reduce your risk of further heart problems and ultimately prolong your life.
Our classes will help you regain your strength and fitness, but they also provide a safe space for you to rebuild your confidence, with the support of fellow members who understand what you’ve been through. Many of our members say the social angle is just as important as the exercise, boosting their mental wellbeing as well as their physical health.
No! Our exercise classes are designed to help people with all kinds of heart and cardiovascular problems. Many of our members have indeed had hospital treatment for a heart attack, and others have undergone cardiac surgery, or had stents or a pacemaker fitted. But we also have members who are living with angina, heart failure, or atrial fibrillation.
Whatever your cardiovascular problem, we’ll aim to help you regain your strength and confidence through regular physical exercise, so you can enjoy a happier, healthier life and get back to doing the things you love.
If you are currently not under the care of a hospital Cardiac team, or finished your hospital treatment more than six months ago, you will need a referral from your GP. You can download our form here.
We take your safety very seriously, which is why we ask for a detailed hospital or GP referral ahead of you taking part in our classes. This gives us the information we need to adapt our programme to suit your needs. And if your condition is not yet stable enough for you to take part, we will always defer to your medical team’s advice.
Our instructors will encourage you, but they’ll never push you to exercise beyond your safe limits. Our classes are specifically designed to help you exercise at your own pace and ability. The warm up and cool down sections are both low intensity, and instructors can adapt the exercises to your needs.
Everyone exercises at their own pace, and some of our members start out doing seated exercises before progressing to standing. And of course if you’re keen to take your fitness to a higher level, our instructors will support and advise you in a safe, closely monitored environment.
The main difference is that our classes are led by specialist Cardiac Rehab Exercise Instructors, qualified through the British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation. This is the gold standard for cardiac rehab training and means our fitness professional have an in-depth understanding of cardiovascular diseases and how to develop and adapt programmes to ensure you exercise safely but effectively within your limits. You can read more about our instructors here.
We aim to make our classes as affordable and accessible as possible, so we subsidise the cost – currently by 50%. This means we charge £4.50 per session. However, this is reduced to £4 when you take out Annual Membership, which involves a simple yearly subscription of £10.
Unfortunately not, so you will need to make your own way to our community-based classes. Our locations are generally close to public transport and fairly convenient. And as you get to know your fellow class members you may be able to arrange a lift-share.
No; we do not run classes on Bank Holidays or over the key holiday periods (Christmas, New Year, and the Easter weekend). Your instructor will always give you plenty of notice regarding scheduled class cancellations. But we may sometimes need to cancel classes at short notice due to events beyond our control – such as extreme weather, accidents and illness, or a maintenance issue at one of our venues.
For that reason, it’s a good idea to join The Ticker Network, our dedicated Facebook group, which gives you quick and easy access to updates and all our latest news. You’ll also find contact details for our instructors here, and some classes have a WhatsApp group.
Yes, we recognise that some individuals need a little extra support, so we encourage people to bring along a spouse or friend. But if they’d like to join in, they’ll need to seek their GP’s consent so we know it’s safe for them to exercise. Our GP Consent Form covers all the details we need.
Partners and friends who take part in our classes will also need to pay the standard class fee. See our FAQ “How much do your classes cost?” (above), or contact one of our Cardiac Rehab Exercise Instructors for more information.
Wear whatever you feel comfortable in while doing light exercise: we recommend loose layers, so you can peel them off or pop them on as needed. Some people prefer active wear such as leggings or jogging bottoms with a T-shirt, while others prefer regular trousers and everyday wear. We recommend flat, comfortable shoes with a bit of grip, such as trainers.
We take your health very seriously, so to join our classes you’ll need a signed medical referral.
OPTION 1 – Hospital referral:
If you’ve recently completed or are nearing the end of your hospital-based Phase III cardiac rehabilitation programme, ask your hospital team for a referral to our community-based Phase IV classes: just download our Referral Request Form.
Alternatively, if you’re under the care of your GP, simply ask them to complete this GP Referral Form then post it to us at PO Box 178, Abergavenny NP7 1DW, or pop along to one of our weekly classes and hand it to the instructor.
We are a small, independent charity with a big ambition: to provide people in our community with the best cardiac rehab service in the UK.
We currently susbidise the cost of classes by 50% – and to to do this, we rely on fundraising, donations and grants. But with everyone feeling the pinch right now and costs rising, we’re having to dig deep and find innovative ways to keep going.
The good news is that there are five easy ways for you to help us meet our fundraising target, ranging from simply becoming a member or regular donor (and using Gift Aid to boost the value to us ), through to using the Easyfunding website every time you shop online to generate micro-donations at no cost to you.