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Caring For Your Heart

Cardiology_Caring_For_Your_Heart_1

It’s incredible, but true. You can reduce your risk of heart disease by simply improving your diet and getting daily exercise.

Restoring your heart health is about much more than undergoing the right procedure at the right time. It’s also about healthy living, lifestyle changes and being educated about your condition.

At Providence Sacred Heart, our technology and specialty services are supported by expert staff who offer you personalized education about your heart health. From stopping smoking to eating right, we’ here with the resources you need to live heart healthy.

Eating heart healthy meals might be easier than you think!

Sure, it takes a little extra time to think about what you’re eating. But as you gradually change old habits, you’ll feel better and have peace of mind, knowing you’re on the way to a heart-healthy lifestyle.

This video (just click on the player to get started, or click here to open in a new window) shows you how to create a balanced eating plan using simple tips, like shopping from a list and utilizing the food guide pyramid.

Learn about “good” fats and oils, making good choices when eating out, and how to prepare meals that are good for you … and tasty, too!

Other heart healthy tips:

Quit Smoking

Smoking causes heart disease by tightening blood vessels, injuring the inner lining of blood vessels, raising blood pressure and making your heart work harder. All types of tobacco-cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco-affect the heart and blood vessels.

Quitting smoking is one of the most important changes you can make to improve your health. You may believe that since the damage is already done, you may as well continue. But the truth is, if you have coronary artery disease and keep using tobacco, you greatly increase your risk of having future heart problems.

Cut Back on Salt

We need sodium to live, but too much salt can cause your body to retain too much fluid, and increase your blood pressure, making your heart work harder. When you first eliminate salt, food may seem less tasty, but after 3-6 weeks, your taste buds will adjust … and you will be amazed by the new flavors you discover! Ask your doctor how much salt is safe for you.

Deal with your stress

Your body responds to stress by producing chemicals that make your heart pump harder and faster. Too much emotional stress for a long period of time can cause blood pressure to rise.

Take your medicine

Most heart patients take one or more types of medications depending on your type of heart failure. The most common medications are ACE inhibitors, Angiotensin Receptor Blockers, Beta-Blockers and Diuretics. These medications relieve and prevent your symptoms and help your heart pump more effectively.

One of the most common reasons people with heart failure are hospitalized is because they don’t take their medications as instructed. Ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist for information on your medications.

  • ALWAYS take your medications exactly as prescribed.
  • Do NOT skip a dose or increase the dose without consulting your health care provider.
  • NEVER stop your medications unless your provider has directed you to do so.
  • Fill all your medications at one pharmacy to prevent drug interactions.
  • Do NOT share your medications with others; they were specifically prescribed for you.

Stay active

Regular exercise will help your heart and lungs use oxygen more efficiently, reduce stress and tension, lower blood pressure, aid in weight control and boost your energy level. You'll feel less tired … and you’ll feel better about yourself and your health!

Remember: Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program or using any exercise equipment. Build your activity slowly, gradually increasing your activity as you build strength and stamina.

A Second Chance

Even though we pride ourselves on being active and healthy, a heart attack can bring fear, shock, disbelief and even anger.

The good news? Many of us get a second chance!

Watch this video to learn how simple changes in your diet, exercise and lifestyle habits can make a big difference in your life.