Each year, more than 700,000 Americans suffer from a heart attack. In some cases, they can be deadly, but for many others, it will take months to recover and return to their normal activities. The first warning signs of a heart attack are chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea or cold sweats, and pain radiating from your arm. If you feel any of these symptoms alert someone immediately so that you can be taken into medical care.
Chances are, after your heart attack you’ll spend about a week recovering and being monitored in the hospital. After your release, there are some specific thing you’ll want to do to help nurse yourself back to health.

Get Plenty Of Rest
You’ve probably heard that an active lifestyle can help prevent heart disease, and that is true. However, in the early stages of heart attack recovery, it’s important to take it slow and get plenty of rest. Your body has undergone a pretty traumatic event and while you may be more motivated than ever to turn over a new lifestyle leaf, it’s important not to further stress your body. Talk with your cardiologist about what volume and intensity of exercise is appropriate for you at this stage of your recovery.

Rethink Your Food Choices
One thing you don’t need to ease into during your recovery is a healthy diet. The few days you spent in the hospital was a good jump start for a healthier new diet, but once you go home it’s up to you to stay on the right track. Don’t let this lifestyle change overwhelm you, think of it more as an exciting new chapter in your life. Take this opportunity to learn a whole new way of cooking that will help promote your heart health and the health of your friends and family. Most cardiologists will recommend a low salt, low-fat diet with little in the way of processed foods. So where does that leave you? With a colorful variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats!

Recruit A Support Team
It’s difficult to go this road alone. As you gear up to make some seriously positive lifestyle changes reach out to your friends and family for support. It will be difficult to make positive changes if those closest to you don’t rally behind you. This might mean picking a few new friends or even hiring a personal trainer and nutritionist, who will encourage you and hold you accountable as you move forward.

Today is the beginning of the rest of your life, and life after your heart attack doesn’t have to be dull. With a few strategic lifestyle changes, plenty of rest, and the support of your friends, family, and medical team, you’ll be in fighting shape in no time. If you’re concerned about your own heart health or that of someone you love, contact us today to get connected with a member of our cardiology team.