Heart attack recovery mistakes and how to avoid them

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Experts shared information on how to best recover after a heart attack. (WLS)

Every 43 seconds, someone has a heart attack in the United States. The time after a heart attack can be confusing and overwhelming.

In the 1950's, weeks of bed rest was the standard of care after a heart attack. Today, that has completely changed. Experts explained what mistakes heart attack survivors and their families need to avoid during recovery.

Your heart may have stopped during a heart attack, but that doesn't mean your body has to afterwards.

"I think the biggest mistake people make is that they think their family member can't do anything at all," said Christine Adams, MD, a cardiologist.

Doctors recommend getting your body up and moving sooner during recovery.

"We encourage people to get active and we prescribe cardiac rehabilitation for everyone," she said.

Try a regular exercise routine for 30 minutes, three to five times a week. Another mistake is not making a follow up appointment with your doctor. Patients and doctors can check the progress of new medications and patients can ask questions about any lingering symptoms of the heart attack.

A good rule of thumb after a heart attack is to follow the ABC's of recovery: avoid tobacco, be more active, and choose good nutrition.

It's completely normal to feel a variety of emotions after a heart attack, from anger and resentment to depression and anxiety. It's important to talk to your doctor or family and friends if these emotions interfere with sleeping, eating or self-esteem.

If you would like more information, check out the medical breakthroughs on the web at www.ivanhoe.com.

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