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Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help keep your heart strong. It can also help you feel better and give you more energy. Besides finding a safe way to stay active, healthy habits include:

  • Eating healthy: Choose heart-healthy foods, including a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.
  • Managing stress: Find healthy ways to lower stress (deep breathing, listening to music, journaling).
  • Watching your alcohol intake: Ask what amount of alcohol is safe. Too much can trigger irregular heart rhythms and make blood flow in the heart worse.
  • Keeping up with follow-up appointments and heart tests: Together, these will help you and your care team know if more needs to be done to manage your condition and avoid complications. Remember to ask for a flu shot each year.

It also can be helpful to:

  • Talk with other people who have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Know that in most cases, people can continue work, but if your job involves a lot of strenuous activity and lifting, you should discuss this with your care team
  • Find safe ways to stay active
  • Ask about vigorous physical activity, including sex; many people are hesitant to talk about this, but you may also be avoiding intimacy, which can affect your relationships
  • Remember that you have a whole team behind you to answer questions and help put your mind at ease; you will need ongoing follow-up and tests, but that can also provide reassurance that you are being closely followed
  • Talk openly with your family about the condition, as well as about when and how to screen for it in others
  • Look into meeting with a genetic counselor to talk about concerns of genetic testing: How might results affect health insurance or life insurance?
  • Remember that information on the Internet is not always accurate; talk with your care team about your condition and any worries you have