Life-Saving Exercise and Diet Tips for People with Heart Disease
A sensible exercise program and a healthy diet are essential to maintaining proper health, especially for those with heart disease. However, the types of physical activities you perform as well as the food items you consume should be carefully discussed with your cardiologist to ensure you are doing the best for your heart and body.
Exercise, While Keeping Your Condition in Mind
While there are a few types of heart diseases where exercise is significantly restricted, such as in Marfan syndrome and Turner syndrome, cardiologists encourage their patients to engage in physical activity as part of their effective heart health management program. However, the physical activity must be strictly monitored lest the heart condition worsens, or leads to a heart attack or failure.
Here are tips about exercise that must be considered by people with heart conditions:
- Your exercise may affect the medication you are taking. For example, blood thinners can leave you at greater risk of heavy bleeding, which could easily turn an injury requiring minor first aid – into a more serious situation. Please be sure to consult your doctor about any possible considerations that should be made.
- Avoid heavy activity, such as weight-lifting and isometric exercises, as they can exert increased pressure on your heart.
- Ask your doctor about the safety of certain cardiovascular exercises, even ones such as brisk walking. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
- Strike a balance between physical activity and rest. Avoid all high-intensity exercises.
- Avoid extreme temperatures, such as very hot or cold showers, as these can increase your heart’s workload.
- Always stay hydrated.
- Ease into your exercise program gradually, as pushing yourself too far can worsen your heart condition.
Just be careful about pushing your heart beyond its limits as this can create future health issues.
Eat, While Being Mindful of Your Heart Health
Everyone needs a healthy diet, but some strategies work better than others at achieving this. Instead of just paying attention to what you cannot eat, we recommend that you focus on what you can eat. Your focus should be on the benefits of those heart-healthy foods you do consume, while you are removing unhealthy, high-cholesterol foods from your diet.
Keep these dietary strategies in mind:
- Eat more plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes(beans), and whole grains.
- Replace your use of artificial trans-fats and saturated fats, from sources such as partially hydrogenated oils and meat products, with healthy fats from sources such as peanut and olive oil as well as soybean, corn, and sunflower oils.
- Eat a wide variety of protein-rich foods, such as lean meat and fish.
- Eat the right kinds of carbohydrates including brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes rather than consuming sugary and starchy foods(potatoes, white rice, white bread, regular pasta).
- Limit cholesterol found in red meat and high-fat dairy products.
- Substitute your sodium intake with herbs, condiments, and spices for better flavor and to help reduce hypertension.
- Keep your serving sizes in check! Check out the USDA’s choosemyplate.gov for help and advice.
Most importantly, you should eat and perform some type of exercise on a regular basis. This will help you maintain a healthy balance; thus controlling your blood sugar levels, burning your excess fat, and regulating your cholesterol levels.
For further information, you can call us at 888-719-8448 or visit one of our many Healthpointe locations, such as Temecula, which is conveniently located by Murrieta, Fallbrook, Wildomar, Canyon Lake and Sun City. We are always happy to assist you.
If you find yourself experiencing a heart attack, or any severe symptoms related to heart disease, please call 911 or visit your nearest emergency facility immediately.