The present study aims to determine the effects of individual education and counselling given to first-time myocardial infarction patients, including its effect on compliance with treatment. The sample comprised 90 patients, 45 in the intervention and 45 in the control group, selected by sequential sampling from first-time myocardial infarction patients. Data were collected between April and November 2008 by means of patient information form, International Physical Activity Questionnaire, 6 min walk test, Modified Borg Scale, Morisky Medication Adherence Scale and Canadian Cardiovascular Society Angina Grade Classification. In the intervention group more improvement was observed in comparison with the control group in terms of frequency of physical activity, body mass index and waist circumference. It was observed that the intervention group's metabolic equivalent of task values and 6 min walk test distance increased more in comparison with the control group 3 months after baseline, and there was a statistically significant difference. The results indicated that individual education and counselling provided to patients having experienced acute myocardial infarction increased functional capacity by providing patients with advice on how to lose weight and by improving compliance with treatment through physical activity behaviours (frequency and duration).