During National Heart Month, there are two important ways you can boost your heart care: understand how to keep your heart healthy, and learn how home care can help you recuperate following heart surgery.
Look After Your Heart
These simple steps can help maintain heart fitness by keeping cholesterol and blood pressure levels in check – two principal risk factors for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
- Modify your eating habits. We really are what we eat. Try replacing foods that are abundant in sugar, salt, and saturated or trans fats with healthier options such as veggies and fruits, whole grains, lean meats like poultry and fish, beans and lentils, and low-fat dairy products.
- Lower your weight. For an individual who is at an unhealthy weight, losing even as little as 5% of overall body weight could make a big difference in blood pressure levels. Incorporating the suggested amount of aerobic exercise (thirty minutes most days of the week) is an excellent way to accomplish this while strengthening the heart. Be sure to talk with the physician first, and start off slowly, working your way up gradually.
- Refrain from smoking and secondhand smoke. Quit – or don’t start – smoking. But be advised that even secondhand smoke can damage the heart.
- Decrease stress. Life, especially in the middle of a pandemic, is incredibly stressful. Take time for yourself every day for at least 15 minutes to engage in relaxing activities that you enjoy: reading, listening to music, going for a walk, chatting with a good friend, prayer or meditation.
Visit your physician routinely. At least once per year, arrange for a checkup to ensure any new conditions can be detected and taken care of early, and any existing issues can be kept in order.
If You’ve Had a Heart Attack…
Recovering from a heart attack or surgery is often a complex process, usually taking weeks or even months. During this time, you may have:
- Chest pain
- Mood swings or depression
- Appetite changes
- Swelling, numbness, tingling, or itchiness at the incision site
- Trouble with sleeping
- Shortness of breath
- Short-term loss of memory or confusion
- Weakness and fatigue
One of the recommended ways to ease this recovery period is to partner with a home care professional, like Morning Glory Home Care, an expert provider of home care in Belleville, IL and nearby areas. Doctors typically advise having someone in the home for at least the first few weeks of recovery following cardiac surgery. Our care providers are fully trained and experienced in watching for changes in condition and reporting them immediately, along with providing valuable support in a number of ways, such as:
- Assistance with safely bathing and showering and getting dressed
- Companionship to engage in conversations and activities to brighten each day
- Meal planning and preparation
- Housekeeping and washing clothes
- Medication reminders
- Motivation and encouragement to adhere to the doctor’s recommended fitness plan
- Transportation to follow-up appointments
- Picking up prescriptions and running other errands
- And much more