Making the Most of Your Second Life After a Heart Attack

Many people think that a heart attack is almost always fatal but it isn’t so! Most people who have survived their first heart attack are able to enjoy meaningful lives, oftentimes stretching for years. But these people also have the determination and dedication in changing their lifestyle habits for the better.  

You and your doctor will discuss your customized treatment plan depending on the kind of heart disease you have and the damage your heart has sustained.  You may have to work with your family, too, in making your treatment plan work, especially as stress should ideally be avoided.  

The most important part of making the most out of your second life is to take full responsibility for it! In your hands lie your own success in following your doctor’s recommendations for a full recovery. 

Be Involved in Your Cardiac Rehab

If your doctor suggests a cardiac rehabilitation program, then you should seriously consider it. You will have access to a one-stop shop, so to speak, where nearly everything required for a full recovery can be found. You will be provided with education, counselling, and exercise training by trained health professionals including doctors, nurses and dietitians.  

By being 100% involved in your cardiac rehabilitation, you have better chances of living life to the fullest, a privilege after your scary brush with death.  You can also educate your family and friends about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of heart instead. You may even realize that while preventive medications (e.g., Bystolic, a beta-blocker) can decrease the risk of heart attacks, these aren’t a guarantee.  

Be More Conscious About Your Lifestyle Habits

If you have been on an unhealthy lifestyle, then your second lease on life should be the catalyst to take a closer look at it. You should adopt healthier lifestyle habits with the most important being:  

  • Avoid using tobacco products. The substances from tobacco smoke have been proven harmful to cardiovascular health, among other adverse effects. Even second-hand and third-hand smoke should ideally be avoided.  
  • Be more physically active. But be sure to ask your doctor about when you can get back to exercise and what types of exercise are best for your case. Even brisk walking 30 minutes a day will contribute to faster weight loss, better mood, and lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure.  
  • Choose nutritious food.  Fruits and vegetables, fishes, nuts and seeds, and legumes are all heart-healthy food.

After your first heart attack, you should rest for a while or until your doctor says it’s okay to resume normal activities and exercise. You can use this time to plan what you’re going to do with the gift of life.  

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