How To Fasten Your Recovery From A Heart Hospitalization

Written by Dr. Pramod Mane on Fri, 01 December 2023 — Fact checked by Dr. Sintayehu Abebe

Key Highlights

  • A patient is hospitalized for an average of 7 to 18 days for any heart condition.
  • Anxiety and depression are common after a heart attack.
  • While in recovery, note any occurrences of angina and speak to your doctor about it.
  • Heart patients benefit from a cardiac rehabilitation program.
  • Keep up a healthy diet to prevent further cardiac issues.

Recovering from a heart hospitalization can be a daunting experience, both physically and emotionally. It can leave one feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and uncertain about the future. The road to recovery may be long and challenging, but it is possible to regain strength, hope, and a sense of normalcy.

Let us tell you this – you are not alone! Many others have walked this path before you, and many more will in the future. And while it’s not easy, recovery from heart hospitalization is possible. With the right mindset, support, and tools, you can not only heal physically but also come out stronger and more resilient than ever before.

In this blog, we’ll explore the challenges you may face during recovery and the steps you can take to regain your health and quality of life. From making lifestyle changes to seeking emotional support, we’ll provide you with practical advice and guidance to help you on your road to recovery.

So, take a deep breath and let’s begin this journey together.

Length of recovery

How long will you be in the hospital if you have a heart condition? Typically, a cardiac patient is hospitalized for 7 to 18 days for any heart condition; in some cases, this might extend depending on the severity of the heart condition.

Everyone’s health is unique, and so will their recovery. Hospitalization recovery times are influenced by several variables.

  • Severity of heart condition
  • Age of the patient
  • Type of treatment received
  • Overall health and treatment condition
  • Functional status of the patient before a heart condition

Patients are normally encouraged to resume full routine activities, including work, 6 to 8 weeks after a heart attack.

Challenges in recovery

Recovering from a heart hospitalization can be an emotional and challenging journey. As one starts to feel better, it’s easy to believe that the road to full recovery is a smooth one. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Without proper care and attention, one may find themselves back in the hospital, undoing all the progress made during recovery.

The numbers don’t lie. Within just a month of discharge, 25% of patients are readmitted for heart failure, while 1 in 3 people pass away within a year. These statistics demonstrate the critical need for prompt and effective recovery from cardiac conditions. By taking the necessary steps to reduce

the risk of rehospitalization and improve quality of life, one can regain control over their health and get back to living life to the fullest.

Due to changes in health and medical treatment after hospitalizations, patients and their families may feel unprepared to go home. 

Here are some challenges faced during the recovery process:

  • Patients are highly concerned about their condition
  • Difficulty to follow complicated medication schedules
  • Receiving contradictory advice on chronic disease self-management
  • Enduring both physical and psychological effects while recovering
  • Inadequate understanding of their recovery process
  • Caregivers whose own psychological, emotional, and physical needs are disturbed may have a negative impact on the patient’s physical and mental well-being during the recovery phase.

Measures to follow for a quick recovery

Steps To Recover From A Heart Hospitalization

Prevention is always better than cure, and this holds especially true for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that up to 80% of these conditions can be avoided with effective prevention measures. Moreover, 75% of recurrent cardiovascular events can also be prevented. This underscores the crucial role of holistic prevention measures in safeguarding heart health.

However, for patients who have been discharged from the hospital, the road to recovery can be challenging. They require a seamless transition to follow-up care to ensure their well-being and avoid the risk of readmission.

1. Diet

Here are some nutritional tips for heart patients to help them recover quickly:

  • Meal timings and frequency
  • Being mindful of which foods you choose
  • Watching the caloric intake of every meal
  • Maintain a balance between macro-and micronutrients
  • Cut back on your fat consumption.

Now you must be thinking about which diet is advised for cardiac patients. The Mediterranean, AHA, and Ornish diets, a low-fat, low-carb, high-protein, and low-sodium diet, can be beneficial for heart health.

AHA’s diet instructions for coronary heart disease (CHD) patients include:

  • Diet rich in vegetables and fruits, wholegrain and high-fiber foods.
  • Consuming fish at least twice a week.
  • Limiting intake of saturated fat to less than 7% of energy, trans fat to less than 1% of energy, and cholesterol to less than 300 mg/day by choosing lean meats and vegetable alternatives.
  • Including fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
  • Minimizing intake of beverages and foods with added sugars.
  • Maintaining a low salt intake.

Whether you have suffered from heart disease or not, a proper diet is essential for a healthy heart. Below are some statistics to show the link between dietary intake and CVD risk reduction.

Coffee (3-5 cups per day)11% decreased CVD risk.
High HEI, AHEI, MED, and DASH scores20% decrease in CVD mortality
Adherence to a prudent diet31% lowers risk of CVD
Consuming cereal fiberlower the risk of death by 27% in MI survivors

2. Activity level

Steps To Recover From A Heart Hospitalization

After experiencing a cardiac episode, patients often feel helpless and struggle to resume regular activities. Unfortunately, coronary heart disease is one of the leading causes of disability.

To help reduce the burden of this disease and improve patient outcomes, cardiovascular rehabilitation (CR) programs have been developed.

Cardiovascular rehabilitation (CR) programs are highly recommended for people who have had a cardiac episode. This program aims to do the following:

  • Minimize cardiovascular mortality
  • Enhance the quality of life
  • Boost cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Reduce re-hospitalizations
  • Recurrent CVD events are lowered
  • Helps with depression, anxiety, and other psychological risk factors.

Exercise is an essential component of CR programs. Patients are encouraged to engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes, with moderate effort, most days of the week. While exercise may be challenging at first, it is important to start small and gradually rebuild strength. With time, patients can regain their physical fitness and improve their overall health.

Remember, every small step taken towards a healthy heart counts. By committing to regular physical activity and participating in CR programs, patients can improve their quality of life and reduce the risk of future cardiac events.

3. Mental wellbeing

Recovering from a cardiac event can be emotionally challenging for patients, with many experiencing feelings of depression, anxiety, and social isolation.

Shockingly, 1 in 5 patients suffer from depression while hospitalized, and 1 in every 3 experiences severe anxiety. Those who experience anxiety after one to two months of hospitalization are at a higher risk of cardiac events.

It’s crucial for cardiac patients to prioritize their emotional well-being, in addition to their physical recovery.

  • Simple yet effective tips, such as starting the day with a positive thought,
  • Performing gentle exercise,
  • Meditating or practicing yoga,
  • Pursuing hobbies,
  • Talking to loved ones,
  • And getting enough rest, can make a significant difference in managing emotions.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has also been found to be effective in reducing anxiety and depression in cardiac patients. By taking care of their emotional health, patients can improve their overall quality of life and reduce the risk of rehospitalization.

Things to prioritize for recovery from a heart hospitalization

Here are some crucial factors to prioritize for heart healing while recovering from heart hospitalizations.

  •  Medication: Appropriate medication taken on schedule and in the correct dosage can facilitate a speedy recovery and prevent further complications. It is crucial to follow your doctor’s instructions and report any side effects or issues with the medication.
  • Doctor appointments: Consistently attending doctor appointments is essential for monitoring recovery progress and detecting any potential issues. Regular checkups will enable the doctor to identify any minor aches or other difficulties and provide appropriate treatment.
  • Addressing angina: Chest discomfort or pain, known as angina, is common after a heart attack. Around 20-30% of patients experience angina within the first year following coronary artery bypass surgery. Keep track of any occurrences of angina and discuss them with your doctor to determine the best course of action.

Healthify your life to prevent further hospitalization

In addition to medical care, lifestyle plays a crucial role in enhancing hospital recovery. Here are some key lifestyle factors that can aid in your recovery:

  • Maintain a healthy diet to prevent the development of other cardiac problems.
  • Adopt a positive attitude and keep your emotions in check to mend your heart.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking habits to protect your cardiovascular health.
  • Maintain a healthy weight to reduce the strain on your heart.
  • Manage any comorbidities you may have.
  • Exercise regularly to strengthen your heart and body.
  • Stay connected to your loved ones for emotional support.
  • Gradually resume your normal routine, but be mindful of not overexerting yourself.


In conclusion, recovering from a heart hospitalization requires a holistic approach that encompasses both medical care and lifestyle changes.

Taking care of yourself and prioritizing your health can significantly reduce the risk of rehospitalization and improve your overall quality of life. By following the tips and advice mentioned in this blog, you can take the right steps towards a faster and more successful recovery.

Remember, always keep in touch with your doctor and loved ones, and don't hesitate to seek help if you need it. Your health is the most important thing, and with the right care and effort, you can keep hospitalization at bay and live a healthy and fulfilling life.


Dr. Pramod Mane

A Doctor of Medicine (MD) in Pharmacology., currently based in Mumbai, India, Dr Pramod Mane, comes with an experience of more than 20 years of working in Medical Affairs in the Pharmaceuticals & Nutraceutical Industry. Director of Medical Services at Mega Lifesciences since 2008, Dr Mane has been associated with several MNCS in the areas of Medical Affairs, Medical Services, Medico-marketing, Pharmacovigilance & Clinical trials in his illustrious career.

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Our team of experts frequently monitors developments in the health and wellness field, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

Current Version

Dec, 01 2023

Written By

Dr. Pramod Mane

Fact checked By

Dr. Sintayehu Abebe