Treatment of heart disease, especially heart failure, has three parts: Medical Therapy, Device Therapy, and Lifestyle Therapy. Medicines and devices can be very effective but the best is lifestyle therapy. Changes in behavior-even small ones-can dramatically affect the course of heart diseases. We start our patients with lifestyle therapy because it improves the whole body and can allow medications to be taken with less side effects. Lifestyle therapy can slow or prevent disease progression and, may even reverse it.
It is important that you allow your body and mind time for rest. You must give yourself permission to take breaks and rest when you need to.
You may have to set limits with friends and family and expect them to respect your new boundaries.
Do not push yourself or overdo any thing-even if it’s good for you. This only places more stress on your mind, body, and heart.
Sleep is important to your physical and mental health and wellness. If you’re not sleeping well-tell your primary care doctor or your CHFCare Team.
Quick Tips For Physical Activity and Exercise
- Start slowly—Baby steps—Your brain often wants to do more than your body is ready for
- Track your time or distance in a logbook or phone
- Increase your time or distance on an incremental basis
- Get someone to join you
- Be wise about the time of day you exercise—Avoid the heat-early morning and evening are best
- Join the YMCA or a Mall Walking group
Eating and Drinking
Food and drink may be the essence of living but moderation is the key to a long life.
Daily Fluid Intake:
2 Liters = 64 ounces = 8 cups
Fluid intake is not just limited to glasses of water. You must account for all liquids you consume. This includes soup, ice cream, jello, coffee, tea, juices, popsicles, ice cubes, and milk. One way to keep track of your daily fluid intake is to use a 2L water pitcher. Fill it up in the morning and drink from it throughout the day. When it is empty, you have reached your limit for that day.