That You Can Get a Heart Wise Exercise Program Designation?

By Jake Chong

To obtain the Heart Wise Exercise Program designation contact us at Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada - info@cardiachealth.ca or by phone at (416) 730 8299


  • The Heart Wise Exercise Program designation offers individuals with cardiovascular disease or at risk a safe place to exercise; work out with like-minded individuals under the supervision of qualified Heart Wise Exercise Program leaders.
  • Increases the availability of facilities and programs for individuals with chronic health conditions
  • Encourages individuals to exercise regularly to prevent chronic conditions such as coronary heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, COPD, and heart disease.


  • Does your facility/program/classes/staff meet the required criteria?

Heart Wise Exercise Program Criteria

Program Design:
1 The program provides exercise options to help participants choose their appropriate level of intensity
2 If there is a competitive nature to the activity, does it enable participants to be exercising at an appropriate level?
3 Instructor(s) current in CPR?
4 Encourages participants to do daily physical activity, including outside of the class setting
5 Teaches clients how to monitor themselves (i.e. intensity) using RPE and other methods
6 Incorporates a gradual and progressive warm up and a gradual cool down
7 Reads screening tools, identifies and monitors Heart Wise Exercise Program clients
8 There is an emergency plan that is documented and known to all exercise leaders
9 Site has phone access to Emergency Medical Services
10 AED is available, accessible at all times during Heart Wise Exercise Program classes and staff are trained in its use
11 Screening tools are provided to the client before or on the first day of the program (for registered programs or memberships)
12 Heart Wise promotional material will be posted at program/ facility
13 At least one member of the staff has attended a Heart Wise Exercise Program Workshop provided by a Program partner
14 Additional instructor training will be requested as required

Workshop Content:

  • Cardiac and cardiopulmonary exercise tests
  • Current interventions offered to cardiovascular clients
  • Exercise prescription for cardiovascular and chronic disease (e.g. diabetes, osteoporosis, etc)
  • Recognize and address the needs of the cardiovascular population
  • Learn about the Heart Wise Exercise program and cardiovascular prevention programs in the community and across the country

Heart Wise Designation Steps:

  1. Participate in a short training workshop (training sessions TBA on website or to be arranged with the Heart Wise Exercise director)
  2. Apply to join the Heart Wise Exercise Program Network and display the logo at you facility, on your literature, for certain programs, and your personal resume.
  3. Complete an agreement with the Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada and the person responsible for the facility or program.
  4. Be listed on Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada website and on the Heart Wise Website.
  5. Annual Evaluation and re-qualification

Collaborative partners include; The Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada; University of Ottawa Heart Institute; Toronto Rehab Institute Cardiac Rehabilitation & Secondary Prevention Program (UHN); Toronto Emergency Medical Services (EMS); the YMCA’s of GTA; and The Mikey Network.

Barbara Kennedy - Executive Director of Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada
Paul Sawyer - Director of GTA Heart Wise Exercise Program
                    - Member of Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada Board

For more information about obtaining a Heart Wise Exercise Program designation visit us at Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada www.cardiachealth.ca. Contact us at info@cardiachealth.ca or by phone at (416) 730 8299