Heart attacks can be frightening and depressing experiences, so it is important to take good care of yourself after suffering a heart attack. It is nothing to joke about because it is a serious sign, which calls for a change in lifestyle. In order to avoid further heart diseases and live a healthy life, certain new habits should be instilled into your new regime. Here are 7 great habits to follow after suffering a heart attack.
1. Quit Smoking
If you have been an avid smoker for many years of your life, it is time to stop after suffering a heart attack! Smoking has endless detrimental effects on your health; it can narrow down your arteries and damage the functions of your heart. So there is an easy choice you have to make, between smoking and living. And if you feel like you need help quitting, your doctor will be happy to help.
2. Limit Fats
It’s important to follow a healthy diet post heart attack, which means cutting down the consumption of unhealthy fats. Saturated fats or trans fats are unhealthy for your body because they raise the bad cholesterol. Therefore you have to lean more towards plant foods, lean cut meats and non-fat dairy products, and stay away from packaged goods, stick margarine and any other food product that is filled with trans fats.
3. Eat Fruits and Vegetables
It is important to replace the bad fats and introduce fruits and vegetables to your daily menu. These healthy foods allow your body to lower cholesterol and remain healthy. They are filled with vitamins, minerals and soluble fiber which can make you feel more active, awake and alive! Therefore don’t hesitate to make your plate as colorful as you can.
4. Eat Whole Grains
Another way to improve your diet is by introducing whole grains to your life. Eating whole grain foods is a great way to get more fiber, which can lower cholesterol. It has many vitamins, minerals and nutrients that your body can use for your daily life processes. So restrict yourself to whole grain pasta, brown rice, whole grain cereals and breads!
Exercise is crucial to improve the state of your heart. It strengthens your heart muscle so it can pump blood more easily and therefore your heart doesn’t have to work as hard. There are endless benefits to exercise, it is a great way to de-stress, lose weight since quitting smoking can make you gain a good amount of weight, decrease cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of another heart attack. Your exercise plan shouldn’t be rigorous but you should try to at least walk everyday for an hour or include some other way to move your body.
6. Control Portions
Not only do you have to change what you eat but also how you eat it, which is why it is important to avoid overeating. Nutritionists suggest controlling the number and size of portions of what you eat by comparing it to the thickness of a deck of cards. Your portions should be small but you should eat more times throughout the day.
7. Take Medication
After your heart attack, you will probably be prescribed many medications that you will have to take every morning and every night. Most of your medication is to prevent future blood clots, lower cholesterol and improve your heart’s performance, which is why it is important to take it religiously. Make sure you are aware of the names of your medications, what they are for and how many times a day you should take them.
Heart attack is a serious wake up call that demands a change in your lifestyle habits. Taking care of your heart and following the suggestions of your doctor can almost guarantee you to live a normal life. What life habits would you suggest to a person who just suffered a heart attack? Share in the comments.