There are 6.2 million people in the United States who are living with heart failure, and many are living very well thanks to some best practices.
Here at Humble Cardiology Associates, Dr. Madaiah Revana and our team strongly believe that if you have a congestive heart failure diagnosis, you can still enjoy a happy, and long, life.
Below, we outline three best practices for living with heart failure that we want you to start working on today. We assure you that these efforts will be well worth your while.
1. Get active
You might assume that when you have heart failure, you should take it easy on this organ, but the opposite may be true. When you have heart failure, your heart isn’t pumping enough blood and oxygen to your body. So, consider the fact that your heart is a muscle, one that works best when it’s strong and in good shape.
If you have heart disease, it’s important to take steps to strengthen your heart, which you can accomplish through an exercise regimen.
We’re not suggesting that you start training for marathons, but we do urge you to get more active through walking, jogging, climbing stairs, gardening, or any other activity that gets your heart rate up.
A good idea is to come see us so we can set up a structured heart rehabilitation program that’s designed for your health, lifestyle, and goals.
2. Curb these bad habits
There are some vices or habits that are important to address when you have heart failure, and we’ll place them in order of importance:
You should quit smoking for endless reasons, with cardiovascular health topping the long list. Smoking can damage your blood vessels, raise your blood pressure, lower your good cholesterol (HDL), and deprive your body of oxygen.
A diet full of sugars and other refined carbohydrates makes you far more vulnerable to diabetes and cardiovascular issues, which often go hand in hand. We urge you to cut down on sugary beverages, candy, baked goods, and refined carbohydrates, like chips, crackers, white pasta and white bread.
When you have heart failure. It’s a good idea to cut down, or cut out, alcohol. Drinking too much can negatively impact your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers.
3. Stay healthy
Flu season is around the corner, and it’s important to avoid viral infections when you have a cardiovascular issue like heart failure.
Infections like the flu, pneumonia, and COVID-19 can wreak havoc on your respiratory system, further exacerbating your existing oxygen issues.
So, for our patients with heart failure, we highly recommend vaccinating against viral infections and practicing good protection techniques when these illnesses are making the rounds.
Of course, there are many more steps you can take to better manage your heart failure, such as finding ways to reduce stress and getting enough sleep, but the three above are a good start.
For a more complete action plan for heart failure, please schedule an appointment with us at one of our two offices in Humble or Houston, Texas, by clicking here.