Athletics & Recreation

Heart For Life

Heart For Life

NEW TIME: Mondays & Wednesdays 6:00-7:30pm 


Specifically designed for post cardiac patients or for seniors who are interested in preventative heart health ( ie: high blood pressure, over weight, elevated cholesterol). All fitness levels welcome. This program is ideal for patients who have either had, or are at risk of having heart disease, heart attack, heart surgery or angina. Led and monitored by Certified Fitness Leaders and Nurses; Doctor or Self-referral. Ongoing throughout the year, join anytime. Each class begins in the Community Room. Support partners are encouraged to attend the program (with member) at no additional charge. For more information and/or to register call 902-420-5555 or email:

Who Can Attend?

You must be a SMUfit member to attend the program. Anyone can apply to get a SMUfit membership. See membership fee information. Registration for the program is also required (download form below).

Who We Are

A precursor exercise program was established in 1981 by the Canadian Council of Cardiovascular Nurses and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia. This program was renamed "Heart for Life" by the Halifax Cardiac Support and Education Society in 1999. We provide education and safe, monitored exercise programs to strengthen your heart and get you back into life.

Let's Get Started

Our orientation session offers guidance in a number of different areas: taking a pulse, monitoring exercise intensity, selecting correct footwear and performing a safe amount of enjoyable exercises.

Great Results!

Long-term medical studies show that cardiac fitness programs brighten your mood, strengthen your heart, and decrease your chance of future cardiac problems. A 1996 Statistics Canada report states that improvements in diagnosis and treatment, as well as lifestyle changes, have resulted in 20,000 lives being saved every year. All you have to do is put one foot in front of the other. It's that easy!

Get your heart pumping!

Our program aims to restore and maintain physical and psychological wellness through aerobic, flexibility, and strength-building exercises. We offer an assortment of activities such as walking (indoors and outdoors), jogging, cycling, and strength training that are monitored by medical staff and certified fitness professionals. As you progress, your exercise program is intensified to accommodate your new level of health.

A healthy heart... a healthy mind

Informal education sessions are routinely held which address nutrition, stress management, advances in cardiac medicine, and psychological aspects of heart disease. By focusing on lifestyle changes, many conditions - namely heart disease, angina, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol can be improved or controlled. Support is available for you and your family as an ongoing service that involves orientation, monitoring, and advice on medical and fitness issues.

Applications and Fees

If you're interested in participating in the Heart for Life Program, have your Doctor or Cardiologist complete a referral form (available by calling 420-5556). We also recommend periodic exercise stress tests to assist us in formulating your exercise prescription.

The Heart for Life Program is a community-based organization that is, quite literally, dedicated to getting you back on your feet. We receive no government funding and rely on fundraising and membership fees to cover costs. We encourage everyone to participate and guarantee no one will be turned away for financial reasons.

So drop by The Homburg Centre for Health & Wellness at Saint Mary's University on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00 - 7:30pm and get your heart pumping. Your heart will thank you for it.

Heart for Life, Program Coordinator
The Homburg Centre for Health & Wellness,
Saint Mary's University
920 Tower Road, Halifax, NS
B3H 3C3

Tel: 902 420 5555
Fax: 902 420 5844

"For eighteen years I have been exercising with the Heart for Life program. The fellowship and social events all add to this wonderful program. I feel quite sure that I would not feel as I do if it were not for this program." – Tina Newman

"When I had my first heart attack in 1984 at age 44, my Cardiologist recommended the Heart Program for regular exercise. I joined the program 8 months after my heart attack and I am still an active member. The Heart for Life Program is informative and helps us to remain focused on a healthy lifestyle while still having fun." – Clark Dorey

"My heart attack in 1987 at the age of 49 left me weak, frightened and apprehensive. In 1988 I joined a Cardiac fitness program and with time and monitoring I began to improve physically and mentally. I later returned to work for another 15 years and I credit my improved health to proper exercise, diet and current information provided to me by the Heart for Life Program at The Homburg Centre for Health & Wellness. My thanks to all who have made my life better." – John E. Dineen

"This program has been a wonderful experience for me. I have found support, exercise, education and wonderful friendships. After my heart attack and quadruple by-pass, I felt a real need to meet others who are living with this disease. The Heart for Life Program at The Homburg Centre for Health & Wellness has certainly surpassed all my expectations!" – Heather Hollett

More Support for the Program!

"The Heart for Life Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Saint Mary's University has helped many patients achieve an excellent quality of life and is an important resource in our fight against heart disease."

Dr. David E. Johnstone, M.D., FRCPC
Professor, Dalhousie University
Division of Cardiology,
QEII Health Sciences Centre
President, Canadian Cardiovascular Society

"As a Sport Medicine Physician I am a firm believer in cardiac rehabilitation programs. My years of involvement with the Halifax group have provided me with continued amazement at each patient's progress. The expected improvement in cardiac fitness was also associated with great strides in confidence levels and the forging of lifelong friendships."

Dr. Kent Pottle
Preventive Medicine Centre
Honorary Chair, Board of Directors
Past Executive Director,
Halifax Cardiac Support & Education Society