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Heart Attack and Recovery

Read more for instructions on how to manage your recovery after a heart attack.

You have been diagnosed with a heart attack. Your diagnosis was confirmed by one or more of the following:


  • Echocardiogram
  • Stress test                               
  • Blood tests
  • Heart Catheterization
  • EKG changes 
  • Ejection fraction
When you have a heart attack, the heart muscle starts to heal immediately and continues to get stronger during the next six weeks. Over time, scar tissue will replace the damaged heart muscle. In order to recover as soon as possible, please follow the instructions below:

Suggested Activities

  • Do not lift, push or pull anything that weighs more than 15 pounds for at least 30 days after you leave the hospital.
  • Limit your driving until you see your doctor for the first visit. You may ride as a passenger for short car trips (20 minutes).
  • You may climb stairs-- slowly.
  • It's ok to have sex two weeks after you've been released from the hospital, but you should not try to support your own body weight. Lying on your side or your back are the best positions.
  • Wait one hour after eating before starting any activity.
  • It is important to plan rest periods between your activities throughout the day.
  • Start a walking program ( as outlined in the Walking Program Sheet)

Talk to your doctor about Cardiac Rehabilitation (717-782-2377)