Most people who survive a first heart attack go on to lead a full life, but life after a heart attack often means making changes. These can include new medications to manage and adjustments to your lifestyle.
Not surprisingly, making post-heart attack lifestyle changes typically pose a significant challenge. It isn’t easy to overhaul your lifestyle, yet it’s necessary to ensure that you live a long, productive life.
While you may feel eager to get back to your regular routine, board-certified cardiovascular physician Ayim Djamson, MD, at Metropolitan Cardiovascular Consultants wants heart patients to know the importance of taking it slow and making the best of your second chance at life.
Even though you can’t change your past, you do have the power to change your future heart health. It’s wise for patients who survive a heart attack to engage in a cardiac rehabilitation program.
Cardiac rehab is an individualized medically supervised program specifically designed to improve your heart health. This is a vital step in adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle after a heart attack.
Cardiac rehab involves:
Your body is designed to move, and physical activity is one of the best things you can do to protect your heart. It gets your entire cardiovascular system pumping, strengthening your heart so it works more efficiently.
Your team counsels you on the right type of exercises for your fitness level and health status. You learn the best ways to get your body moving to promote heart health.
Heart-healthy lifestyle education
Learning how to manage risk factors and adopt habits that boost heart health is a key element of life after a heart attack. You learn about heart-healthy foods to include in your diet, and foods to limit to protect your heart.
You also learn the importance of other lifestyle factors, such as maintaining a healthy weight, keeping cholesterol in check, and quitting smoking. Together the lifestyle choices you make each day can keep your heart healthy for years to come.
Stress management counseling
Stress is bad for your heart, and it’s an underestimated contributor to heart disease. Managing stress is part of life after a heart attack. Chronic stress promotes inflammation, which harms your cardiovascular system.
It also impacts your ability to get restorative, restful sleep and causes psychological strain. These factors take a toll on heart health. Taking steps to keep stress in check can go a long way toward keeping your heart healthy.
Walking the walk
Heart attack survivors must take a sobering look at their lifestyle and make the changes necessary to support heart health. Adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle is the most important aspect of life after a heart attack.
Your future heart health depends greatly on following the advice of your health care team, taking medications as directed, and working together to keep your cardiovascular system healthy.
You don’t have to face life after a heart attack alone. Dr. Djamson and the team at Metropolitan Cardiovascular Consultants are here for you every step of the way. You have many resources for learning about life after a heart attack.
Talk to Dr. Djamson about your recovery and all other cardiovascular needs by contacting us to schedule a visit.
We have three offices in Beltsville, Bowie, and Columbia, Maryland. You can also send a message to Dr. Djamson and the team via our website.