World Heart Day: 5 lifestyle changes you can’t ignore after suffering a heart attack

World Heart Day 2022: A heart ailment is a sign you need to care for yourself. So, here are some must do lifestyle changes after a heart attack.
Heart health is important. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Team Health Shots Updated: 23 Oct 2023, 12:04 pm IST

As cases of heart attack and heart ailments rise across the world, it is becoming a major area of concern for healthcare providers. While the importance of preventive measures for heart diseases cannot be ignored, you must also acknowledge the need to make lifestyle changes after a heart attack.

Taking care of your heart is extremely vital to your overall well-being.

“A weakened heart causes insufficient blood supply to other organs, resulting in heart failure or sudden cardiac arrest. If not treated on time, the problem becomes fatal, in which conventional heart therapies and symptom management strategies are no longer applicable,” Dr Amit Gupta, Consultant Cardiology
Manipal Hospitals, Gurugram, tells Health Shots.

Heart attack cases are rising even among youngsters. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

However, if you have already suffered a heart attack, you need to be more conscious about your heart health.

“The problem can reoccur and escalate over time. Therefore, it is very important to make lifestyle modifications for heart patients to avoid any risk factors,” adds Dr Gupta, who suggests some important tweaks.

5 lifestyle changes to make after a heart attack

1. Monitor your vitals to keep heart health in check

People who suffer from hypertension or diabetes must keep a regular check on their blood pressure and sugar levels. High blood sugar damages the blood vessels and nerves that are responsible for controlling the heart. Hypertension or diabetes even forces the heart to work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body, causing damage to the artery walls. People who have suffered from a heart attack and are diabetic or hypertensive need to pay special attention to their vitals.

2. Change your diet and consume heart-healthy foods

Lifestyle plays a very important role in determining heart health. A healthy food plan, including heart-friendly foods, can ensure that the heart is working properly and is strong enough to combat cardiovascular diseases. One must keep track of the amount of calorie intake and limit foods that have very few nutrients. One must also avoid saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, red meat, sweets, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Processed foods are high in sodium, which can cause HTN and fluid retention and must be removed from the diet. One must include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats and oils in the daily diet that can reduce the risk factors of heart attack.

Consuming a heart-healthy diet is non-negotiable. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Indulge in cardiovascular exercise and yoga to keep your heart healthy

Exercise on a regular basis improves and strengthens the heart muscles. It even increases the ability of heart muscles to pull oxygen out of the blood, reducing the need for the heart to pump more blood. Moreover, yoga reduces stress hormones that are responsible for putting an extra burden on the heart. Therefore, one must include hiking, jogging, cycling, rowing, running, and elliptical training as part of their routine workout. Here are some exercises to boost heart heart.

4. Maintain a healthy body weight for your heart’s sake

One must manage a healthy body weight as obesity puts extra pressure on the heart. One must be physically active throughout the day and avoid sitting for long periods of time. Depending upon age, it is important to manage a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) to avoid any risk of heart attack.

Don’t underestimate the importance of exercise for a healthy heart. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Avoid smoking and drinking, especially after a heart attack

Smoking and alcohol consumption are one of the leading causes of heart attack. Cigarette smoke contains chemicals that cause blood to thicken and clot inside veins and arteries. Alcohol consumption puts strain on the heart muscle, increasing the risk of hypertension that ultimately increases the chances of heart attack. Therefore, it is recommended to limit these bad habits at all costs and lead a healthy lifestyle.

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