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What to Expect During Heart Attack Recovery

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What to Expect During Heart Attack Recovery

February 6th, 2021

Your first heart attack can take you by surprise and be a terrifying experience; but if you’re like most people who recover from an attack, you should be able to return to return to your normal routine and enjoy many more years of what you love. However, you will need to make some changes in your life. Your doctor will likely prescribe medications and suggest lifestyle changes based on the severity of the damage to your heart, but it’s ultimately up to you to follow through on those recommendations.

Life After a Heart Attack

While everything can feel unsettled after a heart attack, it can be a blessing in disguise. Here are five steps you can take to speed up your recovery and protect your heart for years to come.

  1. Keep in Contact with Your Entire Health Care Team. You may have only had one health practitioner prior to your heart attack. Afterwards, though, you’ll likely have an entire network of doctors and health providers who are all trying to work together for your wellbeing. Thankfully, it’s not your job to coordinate with each of them — that’s their job. However, you should know who to go to when you have an issue.
  2. Follow Your Doctor’s Medication Plan. You’ll likely leave the hospital with a list of medications a mile long and instructions that are even longer. While you may get frustrated with keeping track of everything, these medications are essential during the early stages of your recovery. Spend time going through the instructions for each medication and use a calendar to keep track of when you need to take each one. If you feel confused about anything, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor for clarification.
  3. Participate in a Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. It’s important to start a cardiac rehab program within a week or two of leaving the hospital. These programs typically have an hour-long program three times each week for twelve weeks. They’ll help you develop an exercise routine that works for you in a safe environment, as well as offer assistance with dietary changes and other lifestyle adjustments. While you’re participating in the program, you’ll have the chance to meet and receive the support of others who have been through a similar experience. With the combination of each step of this program, you’ll be less likely to backslide into unhealthy habits.
  4. Watch for Warning Signs. According to the American Heart Association, one out of every five people who have had a heart attack will suffer from a second one within five years. Now that you’ve experienced a heart attack, it’s important to remember the symptoms so you can call for medical help if you think you’re having one again. Prompt treatment is critical, and every moment counts.
  5. Follow Through with Lifestyle Changes. You’ll need to adopt some changes to your lifestyle to improve your heart health. If you had vices such as smoking before, you’ll need to quit right away. Exercise will need to become a regular activity throughout your week, and you should watch your blood pressure and sugar levels.

Post Heart Attack Diet

One of the major lifestyle changes you’ll need to make is to your diet. Proper nutrition will help you lower your blood pressure, reduce your cholesterol levels and keep your weight under control. Focus on heart-healthy foods such as:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beans and legumes
  • Nuts Whole grains
  • Plant-based oils
  • Low-fat dairy
  • Eggs (no more than six per week)
  • Lean and skinless meats
  • Fish

Following a nutritious diet can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and lower your risk of suffering another heart attack.

Experience a Healthy Life at Garden Plaza

Your health is of the utmost importance. That’s why Garden Plaza of Florissant offers resort-style services and amenities to ensure you experience a worry-free and nourishing environment. Whether you choose the liberation of our independent living community or the dignified care of assisted living, we’re here to make sure you live the most vibrant life possible. Learn more about our programs, services and facilities by contacting our team today!

This content is for educational purposes only and does not serve as medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please consult your healthcare provider. If you’re experiencing an emergency, please dial 911.