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Coronary stent device support

Understanding heart health

Lead with your heart

After any kind of heart procedure, you’ll want to take extra care of your health and overall wellness. Below you’ll find tips for reducing your risk of future heart disease. As always, you’ll want to work closely with your doctor on any changes to your health or lifestyle. 

 Grandfather sitting on curb with his young grandchildren in stroller and on bike

Eat a heart healthy diet

Maintaining a healthy weight and eating a healthy diet are important to heart health. Even small changes to your diet can make a big difference including:

  • Eat more foods that contain whole grains
  • Add a variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Cut down on sugar and salt (sodium)
  • Limit your consumption of high-fat foods, such as red meat, cheese, and baked goods
  • Reduce your consumption of bad fats, which can increase the amount of harmful LDL (bad) cholesterol in your bloodstream and reduce the amount of beneficial HDL cholesterol bad fats include saturated and trans fats, and are more likely to be solid at room temperature, such as butter and solid shortening
  • Substitute bad fats for good ones that don’t raise your LDL cholesterol levels and have health benefits when eaten in moderation. Good fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are more likely to be liquid at room temperature, such as sunflower, soybean, corn and olive oils

Get active

Even if you can’t fit in regular workouts, try making activity a part of your daily life. By starting small, you’ll gradually build up your activity level, which may help enhance your overall heart health. Here are a few ways to add more activity to your day:

  • Take frequent breaks throughout the day to stretch and walk
  • Do your regular household chores at a brisk pace
  • Park farther away from the door when running errands or get off the bus at an earlier stop to add more steps to your day
  • Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator
  • Plan more active entertainment. For example, go bowling or bike riding instead of seeing a movie
  • Go for a brisk walk with friends or family after dinner

Losing bad habits

Smoking is a habit most people try to kick. It’s especially important for heart patients. Smoking damages the heart and blood vessels and is estimated to increase the risk of heart disease and stroke by two to four times.1 It also decreases HDL (good) cholesterol, increases the tendency for blood to clot and reduces your ability to exercise. The good news? After you quit smoking, damage is repaired quickly in most people. And even long-time smokers who stop can see rapid improvements to their health.

Under pressure

Stress from time to time is a normal part of life. However, unmanaged stress can affect your overall health and have a negative impact on your heart in the following ways:2

  • Increasing your heart rate
  • Raising your blood pressure
  • Causing irregular heart rhythms
  • Raising your cholesterol levels
  • Damaging your arteries
  • Causing the development and progression of coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis)
  • Weakening your immune system

Stress less

Everyone has a personal way they unwind. Below are a few methods to turn down the pressure and increase your heart health.

  • Go for a walk in nature
  • Meditate
  • Practice yoga
  • Journal