Every week I see patients who, having suffered a heart attack, are making new lifestyle changes to prevent a heart attack in the future. It’s not uncommon for these patients to tell me, “Dr. Heuser, I just wish I had made these changes ten, twenty years ago.”
The fact is, very few people “get away with” eating a high fat diet, smoking, and irregular exercise without suffering serious health consequences. Even if they don’t experience a significant health crisis like a heart attack, their quality of life usually leaves something to be desired.
So, my question for you is this: if lifestyle changes are inevitable, why not start now before it’s too late to do anything about heart attack prevention?
#1 Change Your Diet.
Dietary changes can be some of the hardest to make. However, this is a fundamental starting point for heart attack prevention. Avoid foods high in trans and saturated fats. Focus on a heart-healthy diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
#2 Begin an Exercise Regimen.
If you’re not in great health, talk to your physician about creating an exercise program that’s right for you. Cardiovascular activity strengthens the heart and is an excellent way to help prevent a heart attack in the future.
#3 Monitor Cholesterol Levels.
If you’ve suffered a heart attack, it’s especially important to monitor your cholesterol levels. Aim for an LDL cholesterol level of 70 mg/dL or less.
#4 Keep Stress In Check.
Unmanaged stress could cause a heart attack. Learning how to cope with stress is key in heart attack prevention. Many of my patients have found that learning stress management techniques – whether through a book, seminar, or with a licensed professional – can be very helpful.
For more information about heart attack prevention, or to schedule an appointment, call Phoenix Heart Center at 602-234-0004.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.