Surviving a heart attack can be a terrifying experience. However, it can feel like being given a second chance at life. Sometimes, the scare of a heart attack is just the wake-up call needed to make essential lifestyle changes. With the right changes, you can be healthier than ever before! Take advantage of your new lease on life by making the following changes.
Eat Healthier Foods
The old saying, “You are what you eat,” holds more truth than most people want to believe. An unhealthy diet is one of the top causes of an unhealthy body. Saturated fat increases your unhealthy, LDL cholesterol levels and builds up inside your arteries. A diet high in sugar contributes to high blood pressure. The huge amounts of sodium in most processed foods lead to fluid retention. Put those together and you get a much higher risk of having another heart attack. Instead, try to cut those foods out of your life and replace them with heart-healthy foods, including leafy greens, berries, fatty fish such as salmon, nuts, and whole grains.
Exercise improves heart health for several key reasons. It strengthens your heart, helps you manage your weight, balances your cholesterol levels, lowers your blood sugar, and brings down your blood pressure. Find an exercise program that you enjoy so that you will stick with it. Swimming is easy on your joints, making it a great exercise if you’re older. If you are more of a fitness class person, consider signing up for a water aerobics class. Just be sure to get the green light from your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
A little bit of stress is healthy and normal, but problems occur when stress becomes chronic. Studies have shown that chronic stress is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks. Eliminating your stress isn’t the answer, as too little stress can cause depression and boredom. Find a way to manage your stress so as to keep it in the Goldilocks zone. Meditation, yoga, gardening, and nature walks are excellent ways to do this.
Your second chance at life can be a fantastic opportunity for you! It can motivate you to make the lifestyle changes you have probably known you’ve needed to make all along. It isn’t easy to change, but the changes you need to make are simple. Thankfully, your body will acclimate to these changes quickly. Before long you will wonder how you ever lived differently!
Check out this article on health issues common among older adults!