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.
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.
So exactly what can you do differently to lower your risk of suffering a second heart attack?
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.
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:
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.
Faithfully take your low-dose aspirin, blood pressure medications, cholesterol-lowering medications, or any others.
Enough said. Ask WMC for help if you are having trouble.
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.
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.
If you have experienced a heart attack and need help with any lifestyle changes to prevent a second heart attack, contact Weirton Medical Center. WMC provides heart care for patients located in Weirton, WV.