Tips for Recovering and Staying Well After a Heart Attack

If you have recently survived a heart attack, it should take time before you go back to your daily routine. You need to take some rest and make lifestyle changes to allow yourself to heal and recover completely.

Consult with your doctor for specific advice or if you have any concerns. You may also need to have assistance during this phase. To guide you on your route to recovery, here are some tips to help you.

Questions to ask your doctor

Things to consider

If you had a heart attack, you are at a higher risk of ongoing heart problems. It is essential to understand the warning signs. Seek emergency medical care if you have got critical symptoms.  These can happen while you are active or at rest, and include:

How soon am I able to return to my regular activities?

After the heart attack, you might want to go back to your normal life. This can especially be true if you spent some time in the hospital. However, the solution depends on your daily routine and therefore, the condition of your heart.

It’s important to begin slowly to allow your heart an opportunity to heal. Your doctor will advise you once you are active again and what you ought to do. Do not return to any kind of physical exercise without talking with your doctor first.

It is also important to sign up for a cardiac rehabilitation program. This monitors your vital signs, pulse, and heartbeat as you exercise.

When can I return to work?

The amount of time you are far from work varies. It depends on the health of your heart and how active and stressful your job is. You will need to make some alterations in how you are doing your job. 

Or if work is just too hard on your heart, you would possibly need to switch jobs, a minimum off for a short period.

Is it okay to drive?

Most people who have a heart attack often drive again after one week. Still talk to your doctor about concerns or if you have other conditions that will prevent you from driving safely. If you are a commercial driver, consult with your company before driving again.

Is it okay to have sex?

After having a heart attack, it is advised that you should wait for 2 to 3 weeks before having sex again. As with other sorts of activity, you may need to start slow.

Path to improved health

There are steps you’ll fancy after you get over an attack and preventing another one within the future. This is often referred to as “secondary prevention.” But first, make sure you understand your type of heart condition. 

Your doctor will tell you about risk factors and how to help prevent any future damage to your heart. Follow the tips given below for a healthy lifestyle.

Quit smoking: Tobacco use could be a major risk factor for heart disease. It harms the walls of the blood vessels. It can avert blood and oxygen from reaching your heart and other organs. It can also cause blood clots, which may cause heart attacks. Nicotine, which is the main chemical in tobacco, raises your blood pressure.

If you smoke, ask your doctor to assist you in creating a plan to quit smoking. In addition to not smoking, also try to avoid secondhand smoke. You’ll inhale smoke from a burning cigarette or when some other person exhales smoke.

Control blood pressure: High blood pressure puts stress on your heart and blood vessels. Check with your doctor about ways to control your blood pressure. This can include exercising, keeping a diet that is low in salt, and losing weight if you are overweight. 

Your doctor might also prescribe medicines to control your blood pressure. It is important to follow your doctor’s advice for all medication.

Control your cholesterol levels: There are two sorts of cholesterol. High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are “good” for you. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are “bad” for you. An excessive amount of “bad” cholesterol in your blood significantly increases your risk of heart disease.

If your LDLs are high, your doctor might prescribe medicines to assist lower it. You furthermore may eat a heart-healthy diet and start an exercise program.

Check for diabetes: Diabetes could be a disease that has got to do together with your insulin hormone levels. You’ll have Type 1 diabetes if your body doesn’t produce any insulin. You’ll have Type 2 diabetes if your body isn’t producing enough insulin or doesn’t use it correctly.

Having diabetes seriously increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. Seek advice from your doctor about getting screened for diabetes. If you have got diabetes, they will assist you in creating an idea to manage your condition.

Exercise: Regular cardio or physical exercise can make your heart healthier. Examples may include walking, jogging, running, bicycling, and swimming. Exercise helps your heart to pump blood and delivers oxygen to your whole body effectively.

It can lower your cholesterol level as well as blood pressure. It also helps relieves stress. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can assist you in reducing weight. Being overweight may be a risk factor for a heart condition. Losing just 10% of your weight can help lower your risk. Ask your doctor before starting or restarting exercise after an attack. They will monitor your activity and keep you on the right track.

Eat a heart-healthy and balanced diet: The food you eat affects your blood flow. A diet that’s high in “bad” fats (saturated and trans fats) can cause a buildup (plaque) in your arteries. It slows or prevents blood flow from your heart. With time, it can block your arteries and may cause a heart attack or coronary failure. Add foods to your diet plan that are very low in cholesterol and saturated fats.  Eat more fruits and vegetables. Consume less red meat and eat more white meat and fish. Eat fewer high-fat dairy products. Cut down on salt (sodium) and sugar. Avoid fried and processed foods.

Control your stress level: Heart attacks are often scary and upsetting. Ask your doctor for advice about the way to deal with your emotions. Depression and stress increase your risk of the heart condition.

Guidelines for walking when you leave the hospital

GoalsMinimum time (minutes)Times per dayPace
15–10 1-2Stroll 
210–15 1-2Comfortable 
315–20 1-2Comfortable 
420–25 1-2Comfortable/ Stride out
520–30 1-2Comfortable/ Stride out
630+ 1-2Comfortable/ Stride out

Sport and other recreational activities

 Do the sort of activities you wish to do regularly. Start with walking and performing everyday tasks, like doing light gardening and housework. Aim to limit the amount of your time you sit each day.

Gradually add other activities like cycling and swimming, that require more effort. You can usually start cycling, swimming, golf, and tennis again after six weeks, as your fitness and confidence increases with time. Consult your doctor or cardiac rehabilitation team about specific sports that you can play.

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