Coronary artery bypass surgery is an effective way to restore blood flow to your heart. It can’t stop plaque from forming in the arteries. Nor is it a cure for coronary artery disease (CAD). The best way to maintain good results after your beating heart bypass surgery is to adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle.
The following lifestyle changes can help you prevent or slow the progression of coronary artery disease.
- Maintain a healthy weight – Reduce calorie intake and get more exercise.
- Stop smoking – Nicotine constricts blood vessels and forces your heart to work harder. Carbon monoxide reduces oxygen in your blood and damages the lining of your blood vessels. If you smoke, quitting is the best way to reduce your risk of a heart attack.
- Control your blood pressure – Check your blood pressure regularly. If you have high blood pressure, follow your doctors orders and take all prescribed medications as indicated.
- Control your cholesterol – Have your cholesterol checked regularly. Eat fewer high-cholesterol foods, and take cholesterol-lowering medication if needed.
- Keep diabetes under control – If you have diabetes, controlling your blood sugar level can help slow the progression of coronary artery disease.
- Get moving – Exercise helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. It can also help control diabetes, elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure. Try to get 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. As with all exercise programs, seek the advice of your doctor before you start.
- Eat healthy foods – A heart-healthy diet based on fruits, vegetables and whole grains – and low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium – can help you control your weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Reducing the fat and cholesterol in your diet will make you less likely to develop additional blockages in your arteries. One or two servings of fish a week can also help protect your heart.
- Manage stress – Reduce stress as much as possible. Practice healthy techniques for managing stress, such as muscle relaxation and deep breathing.