Heart Failure: Exercise-Based Cardiac Rehabilitation: Who, When, and How Intense?

Mark J. Haykowsky, Kathryn M. Daniel, Paul S. Bhella, Satyam Sarma, Dalane W. Kitzman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The primary chronic symptom in patients with clinically stable heart failure (HF) is reduced exercise tolerance, measured as decreased peak aerobic power (peak oxygen consumption [VO2]), and is associated with reduced quality of life and survival. Exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation (EBCR) is a safe and effective intervention to improve peak VO2, muscle strength, physical functional performance, and quality of life and is associated with a reduction in overall and HF-specific hospitalization in clinically stable patients with HF. Despite these salient benefits, fewer than one-tenth of eligible patients with HF are referred for EBCR after hospitalization. In this review, selection for and timing of EBCR for patients with HF, as well as exercise prescription guidelines with special emphasis on the optimal exercise training intensity to improve peak Vo2, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S382-S387
JournalCanadian Journal of Cardiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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