7 Steps to Heart Attack Recovery

Cardiac rehabilitation

Dr. Almaddah NureddinAfter experiencing a heart attack, you may have many questions about heart attack recovery. How long will it take? Will I have to take off work? Do I need to be watched 24/7? Do I need rehab? Will I ever be able to do the activities that I used to?

The answers to these questions depend on the severity of the attack, the type of treatment received, and your overall health. In general, it may take weeks to months to recover from a heart attack.

While it requires hard work, patience and time, recovery after a heart attack is possible. Dr. Nureddin Almaddah, interventional cardiologist, says there are steps you can take to help you heal and return to normal life. These include:

1. Follow your doctor’s orders: Following your physician’s treatment plan is key to a successful heart attack recovery. Your doctor will provide you with a plan for medications, lifestyle changes and follow-up appointments based on your individual needs and medical history.

2. Participate in cardiac rehab: A tailored, personalized rehab program is vital to heart attack recovery. Arkansas Heart Hospital’s Strong Hearts Rehabilitation helps patients achieve optimal recovery, improve quality of life and decrease the chance of having another cardiac event or procedure. Cardiac rehabilitation helps to strengthen your heart muscle and change the lifestyle behaviors that may have led to your event. Our program includes cooking classes, personal training and group fitness classes led by experienced coaches. We will also help you understand your medications and manage stress so you can get back to normal life as soon as possible.

3. Take medications as prescribed: Your doctor will likely prescribe medications to help reduce your risk of future heart attacks. These medications are crucial, and missing this medicine may lead to a heart attack, which could be fatal.

3. Eat a healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet that’s low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium can help reduce your risk of another heart attack. See these nine nutrition tips.

4. Exercise regularly: Exercise can help reduce your risk of another heart attack by improving your heart health and helping you maintain a healthy weight.

5. Quit smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. Quitting smoking can help reduce your risk of another heart attack.

6. Get enough sleep: Getting adequate sleep is important for your overall health. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.

7. Reduce stress: Reducing stress is important in decreasing your risk for another heart attack. Techniques include taking time to relax such as taking a walk, reading a book or meditating. See stress reduction tips.

Learn the signs of a heart attack.

You are not alone in your heart attack recovery. With Arkansas Heart’s Strong Hearts Rehabilitation Program, you will have a personal coach by your side through every step of the program to monitor your heart function during each exercise session, provide education through hands-on workshops and live cooking demonstrations, as well as guidance in how to understand your medications and manage stress.

If you’re interested in enrolling in Intensive Cardiac Rehab, or have questions, please complete the form here.