Keep Your Heart Healthy
Keeping your heart healthy involves your complete lifestyle from what you eat, to what you do while at work, to how you exercise and how you handle stress. Before you make any lifestyle change or begin an exercise regimen, it's important to schedule an appointment with your doctor or cardiologist to ensure that you will be helping and not hurting yourself or your heart.
Here are some do's and don'ts of keeping your heart healthy before a heart attack:
DO: Maintain a healthy diet. Fiber, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and lean proteins are great additions to a healthy heart. Also, monitor your daily sodium, fat and sugar intake.
DON'T: Maintain a sedentary lifestyle unless doctor directed. Research over the past 10 years has proven that being active is an integral part of keeping your heart healthy. If your job is sedentary, make small adjustments to your routine such as parking your car further away, going to the furthest washroom or printer or walking during your lunch hour.
DO: Get regular exercise and maintain physical activity if possible. The average adult from ages 18-64 should have 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking every week and muscle strengthening activities on two or more days that week that focus on all muscles.
DON'T: Let stress get the best of you. Find something that calms you and employ it when you are feeling stressed. Find ways to manage your stress at work by asking co-workers to help you out, or taking a small break and getting a glass of water.
If you have had a heart attack or have heart disease, here are some dos and don'ts:
DO: Be active, but take it easy such as walking on flat ground. It is important to follow the plan of care you and your cardiologist agree on. What you did before your heart attack may not be safe for your heart anymore.
DON'T: Have a negative mindset. Recovering from a heart attack or managing a heart disease can be hard, especially if you are used to an active life. Stay positive and figure out a lifestyle that is right for you.
DO: Talk with your doctor before engaging in sexual activity. Sexual activity is a quality of life issue, but it's important to wait until your heart is stable enough.
DON'T: Stop taking your medications that could improve your symptoms or are to manage your condition because you believe they could impact your sex drive.
Regardless of your heart history, it's important to remember that taking simple steps, like the ones above, can keep you on the right path to ensuring your heart remains in the best condition possible.