Heart Attack Recovery

Your HealthRecovering from a heart attack can take several months, and it is very important not to rush your rehabilitation.

During your recovery period, you will receive help and support from a range of healthcare professionals, which may include:

  • nurses
  • physiotherapists
  • dietitians
  • pharmacists
  • exercise specialists

These healthcare professionals will support you physically and mentally to ensure your recovery is conducted safely and appropriately.

The recovery process will usually take place in stages, starting in hospital, where your condition can be closely monitored and your individual needs for the future can be assessed. After being discharged, you can continue your recovery at home.

The two most important aims of the recovery process are:

  • to gradually restore your physical fitness so you can resume normal activities (known as cardiac rehabilitation)
  • to reduce your risk of another heart attack

Cardiac rehabilitation

Your cardiac rehabilitation programme will begin when you are in hospital. You should also be invited back for another session taking place within 10 days of leaving hospital.

A member of the cardiac rehabilitation team will visit you in hospital and provide detailed information about:

  • your state of health and how the heart attack may have affected it
  • the type of treatment you received
  • what medications you will need when you leave hospital
  • what specific risk factors are thought to have contributed to your heart attack
  • what lifestyle changes you can make to address those risk factors

They can also answer any questions you have about finance, welfare rights, housing and social care.

Regular physical activity

Once you have made a sufficient physical recovery from the effects of a heart attack, it is recommended that you do regular physical activity.

Adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as cycling or fast walking) every week.

The level of activity should be strenuous enough to leave you slightly breathless.

If you find it difficult to achieve 150 minutes of activity a week, start at a level that you feel comfortable with (for example, 5-10 minutes of light exercise a day) and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your activity as your fitness begins to improve.

Getting help

Everyone who experiences a heart attack will face different problems and challenges, and any guidance or advice you receive will be tailored to your needs.

There are many local and national cardiac support groups where you can meet people who have been through a similar experience.

Cardiac Rehab Services in Coventry

Caludon Castle Sports Centre

Contact details:

National Support

The British Heart Foundation has a helpline that offers confidential information about your recovery and advice about how to keep your heart healthy.

The helpline can be reached on:

  • 0300 330 3311 and is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.