Even when you have moderate heart failure, you can make changes in your lifestyle that will improve your overall quality of life and slow down the progression of your heart failure. Symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath, a persistent cough or wheezing, swelling in the legs, or a high heart rate. A person suffering from heart failure may also feel light headed, be tired all of the time, and have difficulty eating because of nausea. If you are showing symptoms, it's vital to get assessed by a physician to determine the cause of your symptoms. The changes you make today can make you feel better and give you the time you seek to focus on the important things in your life.
Stop Smoking Cigarettes
If you are a smoker and you have been diagnosed with heart failure, it's time to stop. While you may feel that smoking relaxes you, taking in nicotine-filled smoke does the opposite to your heart and blood pressure. When you smoke, your heart rate rises and your blood pressure goes up. Smoking also causes problems with the blood vessels going to and from your heart. When you quit smoking, you may see a big improvement in your symptoms. Your body will be able to receive oxygen-rich blood instead of smoke.
Get Active and Lose Some Weight
Additional weight adds stress to your heart, and getting active is the best way to keep extra pounds from creeping up. Even a small amount of exercise every day can help get your heart healthier. Go for short walks, or take a water aerobics class set up for older adults. Exercise will make you feel better and give your health a necessary boost.
Learn Meditation or Deep-Breathing Techniques
Stress has a big impact on your overall health. When you learn meditation or deep-breathing techniques, you will learn how to calm your body down naturally. Deep-breathing exercises decrease your response to stress, which leads to better health. You can try taking a yoga class for beginners to learn ways to relax your body without medications.
Getting enough rest every day, and watching your caffeine intake can also help keep your heart healthy. When you allow your body to rest, you will feel rejuvenated. Too much caffeine leads to crashes in your energy and can have a negative effect on your heart health. Even a few changes in your current lifestyle can help you feel much better when you are dealing with heart failure symptoms.
Contact a doctor who specializes in heart failure management for more information.