After a Heart Attack

Having a heart attack can indeed be a very frightening prospect. As you would be aware the first 48 hours after are indeed critical.  After this period the recovery begins.  Provided there are no complications you are normally discharged within 5 to 8 days.  As the weeks go by the damaged muscle begins to heal and scar tissue forms.  It is quite common for people to feel terrified of exercising as they fear another heart attack could occur.  However, exercise can speed up the healing process.  It is important to first consult with your doctor before commencing any exercise programs. 

The secret is to start gradually and increase exercise as your heart gets back into shape and adapts to scar tissue.  Never overdo things. Your doctor will no doubt have you on some form of medication such as lipid lowering drugs, aspirin to reduce blood clots or perhaps beta blockers which assist patients with hypertension or particular drugs which treat abnormal rhythms of the heart.  Never stop taking your medication without first consulting your doctor.  It is also important that you make some lifestyle changes.  The following list will assist you in those lifestyle changes:

1) Healthy eating avoiding saturated fats.  Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
2) Include deep water fatty fish in your diet
3) Quit smoking (if you haven’t already)
4) Regular gradual exercise
5) Keeping your weight under control
6) Check blood pressure  regularly
7) Controlling anger and stress levels.

Depression is also common in those who have suffered a heart attack.  While exercise is excellent for reducing stress, those suffering with severe depression need to consult with a professional.  If this is you, don’t procrastinate, seek help now!

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