people who don’t have chest pain or discomfort or other problems can safely return to the majority of their normal activities within a few weeks, according to medical experts. An important question is: are we under-using cardiac rehabilitation? The American Heart Association fact sheet states the underuse is often “among women and minorities.” Medicare beneficiaries also underuse rehab—but those who take advantage of it appear to have better outcomes. Brown said he has “countless examples of lives that have been improved with cardiac rehab.” One case Brown remembered concerns a 75-year-old woman who was diagnosed with multiple blockages and underwent open-heart surgery. “Prior to the surgery, she admitted to being inactive,” continued Brown. “She was not watching her diet and occasionally smoking. Now she exercises regularly, watches her diet carefully, no longer smokes and she actually hiked up Stone Mountain!” One more note: the British Cardiovascular Society suggests that marital status may have an important impact on the length of a patient’s
hospital stay. Think about marriage (or companionship) as good for the heart. However, the same study also indicates, “It is reasonable to suggest that these results can be attributed to better social support at home.” This February, in those busy weeks before the Valentine’s Day, focus first on your preventive health. Plan longer walks, eat the right stuff (maybe just one piece of chocolate) and have your blood pressure checked on a routine basis. Take the time to give your spouse, significant other or close family friend that extra hug. Apparently, hugs are good for you, too!
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Dona and Lew Keller Residents since 2014
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The power to stay connected with family and friends.
PHOTO BY PICTURE PEOPLE, COURTESY OF ART SCHULTZ
Art Schultz advises others to follow his example and get back to being active after a heart attack.
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FEBRUARY 2016 | AtlantaSeniorLife.com