5 Things to Expect During Heart Attack Recovery

5 Things to Expect During Heart Attack Recovery

Experiencing heart-related issues is a common sign of aging. The heart is the hardest-working muscle in the body, and over time, it can experience some small changes in efficiency. Because of its impact on your overall health, it’s important to take special care of your heart by eating nutritionally dense foods, participating in regular exercise, and avoiding harmful habits such as illegal drugs, smoking, and excessive alcohol. According to the CDC, approximately 610,000 people die every year from heart disease: one-quarter of the total deaths in the United States. The commonality of heart conditions, heart attacks, in particular, makes it extremely important to keep your heart as strong as possible. If you do suffer a heart attack, you should understand the changes you may need to make to your lifestyle to ensure a full recovery.

What is a Heart Attack?

Although many people already know the term “heart attack,” many people fail to understand what exactly happens when one occurs. Heart attacks take place when an artery blockage slows or stops the supply of blood from reaching your heart. Common heart attack symptoms include sudden chest pains, a tightness in the chest, sweating, and shortness in breath. As the blockage continues to reduce blood flow, the heart muscle will deteriorate, and if left untreated for too long, it can cause irreversible damage to the heart.

The Road to Recovery After a Heart Attack — 5 Things to Expect

After suffering from a heart attack, you need to be proactive to ensure you don’t have another one. Sadly, about 20 percent of people age 45 and older will suffer from an additional heart attack within five years after their first one, according to Heart.org. This is why it’s so vital to making some proper adjustments to your lifestyle to keep your heart healthy and strong. As you recover, here’s how you can expect your life to change:

  1. Make healthy lifestyle choices. Don’t be surprised to find yourself in need of a lifestyle change. Whether it means following a more nutritious diet, starting up an exercise routine, or cutting out most alcohol, many times there are small changes that need to be made to ensure better heart health.
  2. Follow your doctor’s orders. Following a heart attack, your doctor might have more directions for you than normal. This might mean prescribing medications to lower your risk of another cardiac event or just scheduling more check-ups at the doctor’s office. Either way, make sure to keep track of your condition and your progression throughout your recovery so you and your doctor have a clear plan to follow.
  3. Get enough rest. This is especially important directly following your heart attack. As important as it is to stay physically active to strengthen your heart, it is equally as important to get enough rest. Getting enough sleep and taking it easy in the first few weeks of your recovery is crucial to the process. Don’t take things too quickly, and simply ease yourself back into your daily life while getting at least 7–8 hours of sleep every night.
  4. Seek support from family and friends. Don’t hesitate to ask for support from your loved ones. After a heart attack, you might find yourself struggling to get back into your routine or to acclimate yourself to the new changes in your lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to turn to your loved ones as a support group. Their help can be crucial and highly beneficial for a successful trip down the road to recovery.
  5. Be optimistic: Oftentimes you can get down, depressed, anxious, or scared after a heart attack. Feelings of uncertainty may lurk following the attack, however, it is very important to maintain a positive attitude despite the cardiac event. Stay focused on the future, your recovery, and staying as healthy as possible.

High-Quality Skilled Nursing Care for Heart Attack Recovery at Advent Christian Village

At Advent Christian Village, we provide not just excellent skilled nursing care to help you successfully recover from a heart attack, but our compassionate staff is ready to accommodate the needs of all residents. At Good Samaritan Center, we offer a wide range of rehabilitation services and incomparable support, with the goal of restoring each person to the highest level of functionality possible. You’ll find the high-quality care you need, along with an enriching lifestyle to keep you motivated to live each day to the fullest. Explore our various living options and contact us today for more information or to schedule a tour.

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