More ways to stay healthy
Certain things may make it harder for your heart to do its work. These risk factors can make congestive heart failure worse. With your healthcare provider's help, you can control some of your risk factors. This can help your heart and also help you feel better overall.
Control your risk factors
Talk to your healthcare provider about ways to control risk factors that can make heart failure worse. Here are some things you should know:
- Smoking damages your blood vessels, reduces the oxygen in your blood and makes your heart beat too fast. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting.
- Being overweight makes your heart work harder. Ask for help with losing excess weight.
- Having high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels damages artery walls and increases your chances of coronary artery disease. Work with your doctor to treat these problems.
Day-to-day life can be stressful. On top of that, living with heart failure can make stress worse. Emotional stress can put a strain on your heart. When you're under stress, you may also have less energy and your symptoms may be worse. Learn to reduce stress to help improve your health. To get started, try these tips:
- Sit or lie back in a comfortable chair. Take a slow, deep breath. Hold it for five counts. Then breathe out slowly through your mouth. Keep doing this until you feel relaxed.
- Picture yourself in a peaceful place, such as the beach. Feel the warm sand. Hear the waves. Smell the ocean. Doing this may help you feel more relaxed.