Most people know what to do when they first experience the signs of a heart attack. Most likely, you reached out for help by calling your emergency services department. Or, you might have had someone drive you to a nearby hospital. The real confusion tends to come after you survive a life-threatening cardiovascular event. Your medical team will likely give you recommendations for caring for your health as you recover, yet you may be wondering what you need to do to prevent this from ever happening again. Incorporating these tips into your new healthy lifestyle will help you to start feeling better sooner and avoid having a second heart attack.
Start Right Away
You may not feel your best right after a heart attack, but the time is right for making the decision to start changing your lifestyle. You can even begin living healthier while you are in the hospital by following your doctor’s orders and asking for healthy options for your meals. As you begin to leave the hospital, make sure to ask lots of questions about what your next steps should be for improving your health. Getting printed copies of your after care instructions helps you to remember everything you need to do after you get home such as when to take your heart health supplement.
Implement a Safe Medication Management Routine
Heart patients tend to begin taking new medications in the hospital, and it can be a lot to keep up with at first if you are not used to having so many prescriptions. Start by making a list of all of the medications that you take, and consider using an organizing box and alarm system to make sure that you take each prescription correctly and on time. You’ll want to ask your doctor if any of your medications cause side effects, and remember to write down any natural herbal supplements that you take on the list.
Watch Out for Your Mental Health
Your physical health is definitely one of your prime focuses right now, but you also want to remember that a heart attack can take its toll on your mental wellbeing. You may be experiencing anxiety about it happening again, and some people experience post traumatic stress symptoms after being in an emergency situation. It is also normal to feel guilty or like you are at fault for having a heart attack if you led an unhealthy lifestyle. All of these feelings are natural, but allowing yourself to wallow in negativity can impact your physical health as well. If you are experiencing these types of emotions, then reach out to a counselor. You can also do yoga, meditate and other forms of self-care to help you start to develop a more positive outlook on life.
Participate In a Cardiac Rehab Program
Most physicians recommend that patients take part in a cardiovascular rehabilitation program. Although programs can vary, you’ll likely participate in several different types of therapy that are designed to help you improve the healthiness of your heart. For example, you may attend regular physical therapy sessions that include doing special exercises to help you get into better physical shape. You might also take classes on how to cook healthier meals that are lower in fat and other unhealthy ingredients. Many cardiac rehab programs include an emotional wellness component where you can talk to other heart attack survivors about the impact that your health event is having on your mental wellbeing. Since attending every session of your rehab program is critical, you may need to clear your schedule and make transportation arrangements as soon as you know the dates and times.
Put Together a Healthy Diet
Everything that you put into your body affects your heart health. While you were in the hospital, you had the benefit of having meals prepared by a professional crew of cooks. Now that you are home, it’ll be up to you to start preparing healthy food. As a general rule, a healthy diet that promotes better cardiovascular health includes these components.
- limit sodium and processed foods
- eat four to five cups of fruits and vegetables each day
- eat three one-ounce servings of whole grains each day
- eat two servings of fish each week
While you can expect it to take some time to adjust to eating healthier, you’ll quickly discover that there are many healthy foods that are also delicious. If you do eat something that is high in fat or salt, then you’ll want to keep it to a small portion. Then, just get back on track with your new, healthy diet to avoid falling back into old habits.
Address High Blood Pressure and High Cholesterol
These two health markers give you good insight into how well your new lifestyle is working. You can manage high blood pressure by lowering your salt intake, exercising and learning how to manage your stress. You can also lower your cholesterol levels by watching your diet and using natural supplements to make up for the foods that you might not eat. For instance, garlic extract is a strong natural antioxidant that is beneficial for helping to maintain lower cholesterol levels in your bloodstream.
Quit Unhealthy Habits
If you’ve been putting off quitting smoking or drinking alcohol excessively, then now is a good time to reignite your focus. Both of these habits place tremendous strain on the heart by constricting your blood vessels and causing it to work harder. Smoking cessation programs are available that include counseling and group therapy. If you struggle with quitting drinking, then you could also benefit from seeking professional help with addiction treatment. Reducing the strain that you put on your heart helps it to heal better and function more efficiently.
Gradually Increase Your Activity Levels
At first, your doctor may place restrictions on your daily activities. You might need to take time off of work to protect your health or avoid driving for a week or two. After that, you’ll gradually be able to resume your normal routine, but you may need to make a few changes. If you’ve been leading a sedentary lifestyle, then you may need to start exercising. Walking is typically safe to begin soon after you get home, but you may want to check with your doctor before you begin to do any strenuous exercises. Once you get their approval, start putting together a workout plan that you enjoy. Swimming, cycling and yoga are all a few great exercises that you can add to your routine to manage your weight and strengthen your heart.
Take a Heart Health Supplement
Nature is filled with plants that are known for being beneficial for your cardiovascular system. In addition to adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet, you can use a cardiovascular health supplement to reap the benefits offered by plants that you might not normally eat. Panax notoginseng is an important herb that contains compounds called saponins that help to remove impurities from your blood and maintain good circulation. You can just take a capsule once or twice a day during your mealtimes, which makes this one of the easiest ways to take care of your heart.
Our customers’ health is at the heart of everything that we do here at Farlong Nutraceutical. From making sure that our supplements are made from the best ingredients to providing educational information about how to improve your heart health, we enjoy doing our part to help you enjoy the best possible recovery by making a few simple changes in your lifestyle.