During National Heart Month, there are two important ways you can show your heart some TLC: figure out how to keep your heart in good condition, and find out the many benefits of home care if you’ve experience issues with your heart.
Care for Your Heart
These easy steps will help maintain heart fitness by keeping cholesterol and blood pressure levels in balance – two main risk factors for cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Alter your eating habits. We really are what we eat. Try replacing foods that are loaded with sugar, salt, and saturated or trans-fats with healthier choices like vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean meats including poultry and fish, beans and lentils, and low-fat dairy products.
Lower your weight. For someone who is too heavy, losing as little as 5% of total body weight can make a huge difference in blood pressure levels. Incorporating the recommended amount of aerobic exercise (30 minutes most days of the week) is an excellent way to accomplish this while strengthening the heart. Be sure to talk to the doctor first, and begin slowly, working your way up gradually.
Avoid smoking cigarettes and secondhand smoke. Quit – or avoid starting – smoking. But be advised that even secondhand smoke can harm the heart.
Lower stress. Life, particularly in the midst of a pandemic, is very demanding. Take time to yourself every day for at least 15 minutes to engage in relaxing activities that you take pleasure in: reading a good book, listening to music, taking a walk, chatting with a friend, prayer or meditation.
See your physician routinely. At least annually, schedule a checkup to make certain that any new conditions can be detected and taken care of as soon as possible, and any existing issues can be kept in check.
If You’ve Experienced Heart Issues…
Recovering from a heart attack or surgery can be a complex process, sometimes taking weeks or even months. During this time, you could have:
- Pain in your chest
- Mood swings or depression
- Appetite changes
- Itchiness, tingling, numbness, or swelling around the incision site
- Trouble with sleeping
- Shortness of breath
- Short-term loss of memory or confusion
- Weakness and fatigue
One of the most effective ways to ease this recuperation period is to work with a home care expert, such as At-Home Care Company, a provider of independent living home care in Ames and the surrounding communities. Health care professionals typically suggest having someone in the home for at least the first few weeks of recovery from heart surgery. Our caregivers are fully trained and experienced in watching for changes in condition and reporting them right away, along with providing invaluable support in a variety of ways, such as:
- Help with safely bathing and showering and getting dressed
- Companionship to engage in conversations and activities to brighten each day
- Meal planning and preparation
- Medication reminders
- Encouragement and motivation to adhere to the doctor’s recommended fitness plan
- Transportation to follow-up appointments
- Picking up prescriptions and running other errands
- And much more
Want to learn more about the benefits of home care for those with heart issues? Reach out to us at 515-292-2650 following (or ideally, before) heart surgery and let us help make the healing process as easy and comfortable as possible.