Lifestyle Changes You Need To Make After A Heart Attack

Most of us have heard the tongue-in-cheek definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different result. This certainly applies to heart attacks. Of the approximately 800K heart attacks that occur in the US each year, 600K are first timers and the other 200K people have had their second heart attack. This is a disappointing statistic. We all need to be informed about lifestyle changes you need to make after a heart attack.

Man riding a bike.

Key Risk Factors

High blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and smoking are the three key risk factors for developing heart disease and having a heart attack according to the CDC. You can decide to lower your risk by making some changes after you have your first heart attack, or you can decide to continue to live your life as you did before your first heart attack.

The choice Is yours.

Making Different Choices

So exactly what can you do differently to lower your risk of suffering a second heart attack?

Get Off The Sofa

It is vital to get regular exercise. You don’t have to become a weightlifter or a long-distance runner. How about running the vacuum cleaner? Just do moderate exercise like walking, biking, swimming for at least 150 minutes per week. Talk with WMC about what type of exercise you can do.

Watch What You Eat

Don’t just be careful during the week, and then go crazy on the weekend.

Some examples of more healthy eating habits include the following:

  • Limit fat, saturated fat, trans fat, red meat, sugary drinks, and sodium
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Limit or eliminate processed food from your diet
  • Eat more fruits and veggies
  • Add salmon, tuna, and fatty fish to your diet

Experiment with recipes and enjoy a new way of eating. These tips will help you maintain a healthy weight which also lowers your risk for a second heart attack.

Be Diligent With Medications

Faithfully take your low-dose aspirin, blood pressure medications, cholesterol-lowering medications, or any others.

Quit Smoking

Enough said. Ask WMC for help if you are having trouble. 

Stay Busy

Be with people you like, do things you enjoy, and meet new people. Staying busy will keep you happier and will tamp down any depression you might be feeling after a heart attack. Anxiety and depression can affect your faithfulness to the lifestyle changes you are making.

Beat The Odds

After one heart attack, the risk for another rises, especially 3 to 5 years after the first. Look for support and help from friends and loved ones. Discuss with WMC exactly why you had your first one and exactly what you should change to prevent a second. Don’t be a statistic.

Contact WMC if you need help with any lifestyle changes you are making to prevent a second heart attack.

Category: Heart Health
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