How to Live With Atrial Fibrillation
Atrial fibrillation is a condition that makes your heart beat much faster than it normally would, in addition to disrupting the heart rhythm. As such, it increases your risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes. Atrial fibrillation is often not dangerous by itself, but it is known to cause other conditions that may require urgent medical help. In this article we are going to take a look at some tips that can help you manage atrial fibrillation and live a full, healthy life in spite of it.
Pay Attention To Your Diet
Your heart health is highly dependent on your nutrition, so it is a good idea to eat a healthy diet if you suffer from atrial fibrillation. Make sure to avoid foods that are too high in fat and sugar, and eat lots of vegetables instead. Also, include plenty of fruit, fish, and nuts in your daily meals. Finally, do your best to cut back on caffeine and alcohol to reduce the strain on your heart.
Don’t Neglect Physical Activity
Eating healthy is difficult enough by itself, but you have to combine it with regular physical activity to achieve maximum results. Having atrial fibrillation doesn’t mean that you can’t be physically active, but you do have to be extra careful. If you have been leading a sedentary lifestyle, you’ll need to start slow and build up your cardiovascular fitness by walking, swimming, or cycling. Once you feel more fit and your heart becomes accustomed to moderate physical activity, you can go on to exercise more intensely, but be sure to monitor your heart rate and stop moving as soon as you feel any cardiovascular pain or discomfort.
Exercising regularly may feel like a chore if you’re not naturally active, but the benefits of it are well worth your effort. Getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercising every day will help you achieve lower risk of heart attack, as well as a number of other heart diseases. Studies have shown that physical activity has a direct impact on one’s risk of stroke, keeping blood vessels healthy and promoting weight loss. All these benefits are of major importance for people who have irregular heartbeat due to atrial fibrillation and other heart diseases.
Don’t Stress Too Much
Stress is a necessary component of our daily lives, as it keeps us alert, focused, and motivated. However, once you’re under too much stress, it overwhelms you and starts being detrimental to your physical and mental health. It is no secret that constantly feeling stressed out can cause high blood pressure, which in its turn leads to cardiovascular disease in the long run. Thus, don’t just neglect your mental health if you feel you’re struggling to deal with all the pressure of your work and family life. You can learn to meditate, try yoga, adopt some deep breathing techniques, or even seek professional medical help if you’re not sure you can figure it all out on your own.
Don’t Compromise On Sleep
Sleep is essential to your health, so don’t try to get by with just five or six hours of sleep if you feel that you need more. When you sleep, your heartbeat slows down, giving your heart some time to take a break. In addition, your brain can process the experiences and emotions of the day while you sleep, thus helping keep your mental health in check. Not getting enough sleep for extended periods of time can increase your chances of suffering from heart disease later in life, and that’s definitely not desirable when you already have atrial fibrillation.
Lack of a good night’s sleep can have negative effects you may not even realize. The resulting sluggishness, absentmindedness, disorientation, and irritability can impede productivity, concentration and good decision making. The importance of getting the proper amount of rest cannot be overstated.
Stress is one of the most significant factors for sleep deprivation. When you are stressed or anxious, your mind will continue to grind, even past the sleeping time. Insomnia and other sleeping disorders are also attributed to chronic stress as well.
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