During National Heart Month, there are two important ways you can show your heart some love: discover how to keep your heart healthy, and learn how home care can help with heart surgery recovery.
Care for Your Heart
These simple steps will help maintain heart fitness by keeping cholesterol and blood pressure levels in balance – two key risk factors for cardiovascular illnesses, heart attack, and stroke.
- Modify your eating habits. We really are what we eat. Try replacing foods that are high in saturated or trans-fat, salt, and sugar with healthier options like veggies and fruits, whole grains, lean meats including fish and poultry, lentils and beans, and low-fat dairy products.
- Lower your weight. For somebody who is overweight, losing as little as 5% of overall body weight can make a positive change in blood pressure levels. Incorporating the suggested amount of aerobic exercise (thirty minutes most days of the week) is a good way to make this happen while strengthening the heart. However, make sure to talk to your doctor first, and start slowly, working your way up with time.
- Avoid tobacco use and secondhand smoke. Quit – or don’t start – smoking. But be advised that even secondhand smoke can harm the heart.
- Lower stress. Life, especially in the midst of a pandemic, is extremely demanding. Take time for yourself each day for at least 15 minutes to take part in calming activities: reading a good book, listening to music, taking a walk, chatting with a friend, prayer or meditation.
Visit your physician on a regular basis. At least annually, arrange for a checkup so that any new issues can be identified and taken care of as soon as possible, and any existing issues can be kept under control.
If You’ve Experienced a Heart Attack…
Recovering from a heart attack or surgical procedure can be a complex process, generally taking weeks and possibly months. During this period, you may have:
- Pain in your chest
- Mood swings or depression
- Changes in appetite
- Swelling, numbness, tingling, or itchiness at the incision site
- Difficulty with sleeping
- Difficulty breathing
- Short-term loss of memory or confusion
- Weakness and fatigue
One of the best ways to improve this recuperation period is to partner with a home care professional, like Live Free Home Health Care, a provider of award-winning home care in Bristol, NH and the nearby areas. Doctors typically advise having someone in the home for at least the first few weeks of recovery from cardiac surgery. Our care providers are fully trained and experienced in monitoring changes in condition and reporting them immediately, along with providing valuable support in a variety of ways, such as:
- Help with safely taking showers or baths and getting dressed
- Companionship to take part in conversations and activities to brighten each day
- Meal planning and preparation
- Housekeeping and washing clothes
- Medication reminders
- Encouragement and motivation to follow through with the doctor’s recommended fitness program
- Transportation to follow-up appointments
- Picking up prescriptions and running other errands
- And a lot more