If you’ve had one heart attack, your chances of having another are much higher. But you can do a lot to prevent this. Learn from these heart attack survivors about the lifestyle changes they’re making to keep their hearts healthy.
Dr. Williams: What other factors have changed in your life since your heart attack?
Mariana: My diet. But I still have a little ways to go.
Dr. Williams: Dietary management is all about balance. Something that encompasses whole grains, lean protein, vegetables, but definitely no saturated fats and the sugars.
Mike: A lot of the food I am eating is better. The number of calories I eat over the course of the day is slightly less, but it's better quality food.
Dr. Jones: People are becoming a lot more aware of fat. They're like, "Oh, fat. We don't want fat." But there are good fats and bad fats. You get cholesterol in your body mostly from saturated fat in food, and saturated fat only comes really from animals. So mostly from beef, and in our country, dairy or cheese. The good fats, which are the poly and the monounsaturates, those come essentially from vegetables.
Dr. Williams: You have to be a student of the labels. Anytime you buy foods, I would recommend that you look on the back-
Mariana: And see the saturated fat.
Dr. Williams: ... and you read not only just the saturated fat, but all the components.
Dr. Williams: That's how you can educate yourself, and that's how you can make sure that you're eating the foods that you need to eat.
Dr. Jones: What are you doing as far as non-medical things? Do you exercise?
Rina: Exercise, yeah.
Dr. Jones: How much are you doing?
Rina: I've gone back to yoga, slowly. I actually try to go a couple of times a week to yoga, and that's all the exercise that I do.
Dr. Jones: People just limit their activity and don't realize it.
Rina: I mean, I could walk up and down the stairs in my house.
Dr. Jones: You could.
Dr. Williams: Are you still doing intervals?
Mariana: You know, I'm still running, but I don't push myself the way I used to.
Dr. Williams: Have you had a discussion with your cardiologist about what your limits are?
Mariana: When I see my heart rate go to 120, that's about all I ... then I start to slow down.
Dr. Jones: Listen to your body. That's always my first thing. I'm not a real fan of very high intensity. I'm much more about consistent, steady exercise. I would rather have you go for a power walk every day for 30 minutes, than do a crazy intensity workout once a week.
Dr. Jones: But for the cardiac effect, I think you do need to raise that heart rate a little bit.
Most people have neck pain at some point in their life. It’s usually due to neck muscle strain. But neck pain is also a common symptom of a heart attack. Protect your heart by recognizing when your neck pain is more than a temporary strain and might be due to a problem with your heart.
An aching back is a common problem that affects a quarter of the U.S. population over a three-month period of time. Back pain is often related to straining from heavy lifting or poor posture, but back pain can also be a symptom of a heart attack.