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Heart Failure Health Center

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Living With Heart Failure

By making lifestyle changes, you can take an active role in treating your heart failure while maintaining a productive life. This article addresses many lifestyle questions you may have and offers tips that should make performing daily activities easier.

When Can I Return to Regular Activities?

You can resume your regular activities as soon as you feel better, but follow your doctor's guidelines. Increase your activities slowly, and always listen to your body so you know when it's time to take a rest break.

When Can I Return to Work?

If you have been in the hospital for your heart failure, your doctor will tell you how soon you can return to work after you go home. Your return to work will be based on your overall health, symptoms, and your rate of recovery.

You should try to work as long as you are able. If you have a job that requires a lot of physical work, you may need to change some of your job-related activities. This may involve job re-training or taking disability.

Talk to your doctor about the type of job you have. Your doctor can help you decide if your job will affect your heart condition and if you need to make changes.

The following tips should make your transition back to work easier.

  • Plan periods of rest. Be sure to get plenty of rest. You may need to plan at least one rest period every day. When you rest, keep your feet up to keep the swelling in your legs down.
  • Conserve your energy. Using less energy with daily tasks can help you have more energy to do more activities during the day. You may need to cut down on some of your activities or use energy-saving devices or techniques. If daily self care or home care activities are too tiring, tell your doctor.
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