Taking your meds and seeing your cardiologist are not the only ways you can help keep your heart healthy. Making changes to your everyday life can also benefit your heart. Good news — adopting these habits is good for the rest of your body, too. Here are eight lifestyle changes you can make to better manage heart failure.
A quick way to improve heart failure symptoms is to quit smoking. Cigarettes can temporarily increase your heart rate and blood pressure. Chemicals in cigarettes can damage your heart and blood vessels. Smoking can also cause heart attacks, strokes, and even the narrowing of blood vessels to the arms, legs, hands, and feet. There are many resources available to help you quit smoking.
Balance your plate
Make the most of your meals with a heart-healthy balanced plate. Use our simple strategy to help you fill up on the foods that are best for your heart: veggies, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, nuts, beans, fish, and lean poultry.
Staying active helps people with heart failure feel better for longer. Getting some activity every day will help keep your heart and the rest of your body strong. If unsure, talk to your doctor about what type of activities might be right for you.
Track your weight
Check your weight daily using the Livongo scale. Sudden weight gain or weight loss can be a sign that your meds or diet need adjusting. If you gain more than 3 pounds in 2 days, or 5 pounds over the course of a week, let your doctor know.
Ask your doctor if it’s okay for you to drink. If the answer is yes, keep it to no more than one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
Stress is a normal part of life. But too much stress can take a toll on your health. Learning how to cope with stress is an important healthy habit to build, for your heart and the rest of your body.
Wear the right clothing
Wearing layers is helpful; removing or adding clothing as needed can help you better regulate your body’s temperature. If you feel your socks, pants, or shoes are getting tighter, it might be a symptom of your heart failure. Let your doctor know if this happens.