You’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, and now you’re on a host of medications to keep the problem from getting worse. The bad news is that there is no cure for the problem as there is no way to stop the body from overproducing cholesterol. The good news is you can take control of your problem by making lifestyle choices that are proven to work. There is no getting around the effort that you need to make in order to manage the condition, but doing so allows you to live your life to the fullest.
Exercise Makes a Major Difference in Your Health
For many, exercise is a four letter word, one associated with pain and discomfort, or an inconvenience. The truth is, a regular exercise program doesn’t have to be one of misery. The goal of exercise is to get the heart rate up which in turn strengthens the heart muscle and gets the body to switch to production of “good” cholesterol. There are various different types of low-impact/high intensity exercises to achieve this goal, ones that get you moving, your heart pumping and the muscles flexing. You’ll also lose weight, another benefit for managing heart disease.
If your physical condition isn’t ready for an intense workout, don’t worry; you have plenty of options. Check with the cardiac center of a local hospital to find a gym that offers cardiac rehab programs, work with a personal trainer who is familiar with your health issues, or find a pool that has aquaroebics classes. There are plenty of low-impact workouts available to help you get started.
Changing Your Diet is Important, but not in the Ways You Think
Don’t put down that burger just yet — there is no solid link between dietary cholesterol and what the body produces. In other words, your food doesn’t add to the cholesterol in your body. What you do want to do is to analyze the carbohydrates you consume on a daily basis and reduce them. Moderation is going to be the buzz-word from now on. A little of this, a little of that, but no more weighting your daily meals heavily towards one type of food group. You are still able to eat the “good stuff,” but not as much as you used to.
It is better to weight your diet more towards proteins than carbs, especially because you feel less hungry throughout the day, and don’t get the urge to snack as much. Start your morning with a reasonable portion of eggs, sausage or bacon, and some fruit on the side. Create variations on this theme for each successive meal, and snack on food stuffs such as nuts, fruits or vegetables in between. Your hunger will be satisfied and you’ll drop weight more easily.
Modern life makes it difficult for many to stick to a routine without falling off every once in a while. Just remember that the more you do of a beneficial activity, the better. The goal is to reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke, and you can do it by making it a point to manage your heart disease in a sensible way.
Matthew Wallace, MD advises physicians and business owners on how to incorporate sound financial planning principals into their busy lives and protect against the real threat of losing one’s income due to disability. Prior to entering the financial planning profession, for eight years Matthew practiced Family Medicine before being severely injured in an auto accident that left him unable to continue his medical career.
He lives in Orange County, CA and is married with three beautiful children. Matthew is an avid chess player, an aspiring chef and writes for his website www.doctordisability.com.