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MyLVAD A. Caregiver

New Years Resolutions

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The New Year marks the start of a new cycle and a moment at which many of us feel as if we are getting a chance to start over. We make resolutions about aspects of our lives we hope to change and improve upon in the upcoming year.

Your life with an LVAD as a recipient or as a caregiver has created a major change in your life. It?s time to update some of those resolutions to help make the most of life with your LVAD.

Eat Healthier ? Eating better is something that everyone should strive for. Often we bite off more than we can chew (pun intended) by starting a big diet. Instead, start small and find a few things about your diet that you need to change. It may be adding an additional vegetable or fruit to your diet, drinking less soda, eat out less and in more, or not snacking between meals. Even small changes can make a big difference!

Get Fit - Enough said! Incorporating exercise into your daily routine does not have to be the excruciating and all consuming task that many of us make it out to be. Take quick, 10 minute, brisk walks whenever you can find the time during the day. Doing this a few times a day will help boost your metabolism. Find an activity you enjoy that gets you on your feet and moving like dancing or a fun class like zumba. Remember next time you?re out and about park far away to get in a few extra steps between your car and the shopping center and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Those extra steps every day will add up!

Lose Weight - If you are one of the millions who could take off a few pounds losing weight this year may be one of your resolutions. It encompasses the two resolutions above and for some may seem like a hurdle that is too difficult to tackle with all of the rest of the stress in your life. Losing weight doesn't need to be a huge burden. Small changes are key, and getting support from loved ones helps. If you have an LVAD, most likely you have a support system already in place. If you are caring for someone with an LVAD, rely on those around you to support you with a weight loss endeavor. Start with one change, a small one that doesn't feel stressful. Set a small goal(like 5 lbs at a time) and when you reach it treat yourself to something that you want (other than food). Small life style changes are what make for a successful weight loss. .

Manage Stress - There?s no doubt that having an LVAD has created stress that only other recipients and caregivers can understand. Learning how to manage that stress is key to staying healthy as a recipient or caregiver. Remember to take a break, read a book, listen to music, do some yoga, meditate, pray, or whatever it is that you do to help you deal with stress. Talk to others who are also on the LVAD journey through support groups or online communities such as the ones here at MyLVAD. Talking, sharing stories and advice are great ways of dealing with your stress.

Take a Trip - Just because you have an LVAD doesn't mean that you can't travel. This year overcome whatever fears you may have about traveling with an LVAD and take a trip! MyLVAD has many travel resources to help you plan a trip and travel with ease. Visit the MyLVAD travel section. Don?t forget to visit our LVAD Hospital Locator map. to help you find the centers closest to your destination and or along the way should you need them while you travel.

The MyLVAD team hopes your 2012 has gotten off to a great start! In the coming year we look forward to supporting you by providing the resources and connections you need to help keep your resolutions.

What are some of your New Year?s resolutions and how are they going?

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Melody T.

Great advice! Thanks for all you do MyLVAD team! As a stressed out caregiver, I am working on getting fit and losing weight. My son gave me a nudge to do this with a Christmas gift. He has a personal trainer scheduled to work with me twice a week at home for a month. I start this week! I am hoping this will help with stress too!