Moving on with heart disease

Here’s a simple plan to stay well, enjoy life

heart checkup on woman

A heart disease diagnosis can cause some people to worry, but it’s possible to enjoy a regular life after heart failure. In fact, by taking control of your heart health, you can live an even better life. Work with your doctor to come up with an action plan to help you recognize when you are feeling symptoms. Early treatment can prevent further damage and make it easier to manage the disease in the long run. Try these self-care strategies that will help your heart and improve your quality of life.

Eat a heart-healthy diet. Go for a wide variety of foods: more vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, fish, and lean protein. Avoid sodium and saturated fats.

Be active. Even gentle exercise will help your heart get stronger. Aim for 30 minutes a day, but start slow. Ask your doctor about a fitness plan that’s right for you.

Take your medications. Your doctor might prescribe several. Ask if there’s a way to simplify your doses.

Weigh yourself daily. Sudden weight gain can mean your body is retaining fluid. Ask your doctor to put this in your action plan so you know what to do.

Know your blood pressure and cholesterol targets. These numbers should be part of the action plan you create with your doctor. Know your targets and what you can do to reach them.

Stay up-to-date with shots. Get the flu shot, and ask your doctor about others you may need.

Take it easy. Get enough rest, and try not to worry or get angry. Walking and yoga can help keep your stress level down.

Don’t smoke. It makes your heart work harder. It’s never too late to quit, and your heart will benefit as soon as you stop.