8 Important Things You Must Do After A Minor Heart Attack

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack every year. That’s one every 43 seconds or so. But not every event is fatal. Your chance of survival goes up—and complications go down—if you get to a hospital as soon as possible.

After a heart attack, patients have a great opportunity to take control of their heart health. Medications, lifestyle changes, and sometimes surgery are part of a heart attack recovery plan to help to prevent a second attack. Here are some of the tips for you to strengthen your heart and reclaim your health:

You Have The Power To Improve

Patients have a great opportunity to take control of their cardiac health after a heart attack. They have to understand that they need to lower their chances of a second heart attack or stroke through lifestyle changes.

Manage Stress

Several studies have linked stress to high blood pressure. Avoid lighting a cigarette of drinking alcohol when you are stress. Handle it by doing relaxing breathing exercises or meditation.

Know What Triggered Your Heart Attack

Martha Gulati, MD, chief of cardiology at University of Arizona, and editor-in-chief of cardiosmart.org explains that:

“IT’S NOT ALWAYS POSSIBLE TO KNOW, BUT MANY TIMES THERE ARE THINGS WE CAN IDENTIFY THAT WERE THE CAUSE, AND A LOT OF THEM ARE LIFESTYLE FACTORS.”

She says that she once has a patient whose heart attack was caused by his smoking habit instead of cholesterol levels or hypertension. Due to this, the patient quit smoking and after that, he never had another cardiac issue.

Eat More Fruits And Veggies

According to Dr. Gulati, patients need to have a heart-healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods, as well as low-fat dairy products. According to studies, a diet loaded with produce and fish can help lower the risk of stroke and heart attack.

Be Active

Alan Schwartzstein, MD, a family physician in south-central Wisconsin and an officer for the American Academy of Family Physicians says that:

“INACTIVITY IS ASSOCIATED WITH A TWO-FOLD INCREASE IN RISK FOR HEART ATTACKS. EXERCISE IS ABSOLUTELY, ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. THE HEART IS A MUSCLE. IF YOU DON’T USE MUSCLES, THEY DON’T STAY STRONG. THE WAY TO USE THE HEART IS TO MAKE IT WORK, AND YOU DO THAT THROUGH EXERCISE.”

Studies revealed that an exercise performed four to five times per week and begun before the age of 65 can “reverse damage to sedentary, aging hearts and help prevent the risk of future heart failure.”
Simple brisk walking or taking the stairs at work can make your heart beat faster.

Understand All Your Meds

After a heart attack, you need to start taking a new prescription. However, some patients simply take their medicine without changing their lifestyle and doing physical activities that will help them lose weight. We need to put in mind that lifestyle changes are more important than medical interventions.

Limit Calories

One of the many ways to control your blood pressure is by maintaining a healthy weight. You can do this by slashing your calorie intake. Here are some of the tips you can follow:

  1. Use Smaller Plates when eating meals
  2. Cook your own food
  3. Don’t add sugar to tea or coffee
  4. Avoid eating sugar-sweetened drinks
  5. Use Less Sauce (Ketchup or mayonnaise add more calories to food)
  6. Bulk Up Meals With Vegetables
  7. Drink Water Before Your Meal
  8. Eat Your Meals Slowly
  9. Don’t Keep Junk Food in the House

For The Last Time: Quit Smoking

Patients with heart problems are always advised to quit smoking. If you still continue to smoke after a heart attack, you are more likely to have another heart attack or die from one.

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