Yes! Diet and exercise, along with medications and other treatments specific to each patient, are the best way to recover and reduce the risk for future heart attacks. Cardiac rehabilitation is prescribed for most patients who have suffered a heart attack. Under medical supervision, patients in cardiac rehabilitation participate in group exercise classes, learn helpful tips for improving their diets, and are monitored for improvements in their blood pressure, cholesterol, body mass index, and other risk factors that contributed to their heart disease.
For many people, surviving a heart attack is a wake-up call and they don’t take their second chance for granted. We don’t expect anyone to make giant changes right away but as patients adapt to their new and improved lifestyle they feel so much better. Many wonder why they didn’t do it sooner.
Of course, the sooner you can reduce your risk for heart disease, the less damage will be done to your cardiovascular system reducing your risk for stroke and heart attack. Think about how much cheaper it would be to invest in a good pair of walking shoes (and using them every day) than it would be to have bypass surgery, stents or other costly treatments.