Damar Hamlin Shares the Life-Changing Tip He Got From His Cardiologist After He Went Into Cardiac Arrest

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Damar Hamlin, 26, made headlines in early 2023 when he went into cardiac arrest on the football field during a Buffalo Bills game. Over a year later, the football player is now a strong advocate for heart health as he works to educate people on how to keep their hearts healthy and strong.

One of the main ways he does this is by using his influence to get the word out and help others feel less alone. "I'm using my platform to be someone who anyone who has experienced a life-threatening issue can relate to," he told Parade in an exclusive interview. "I'm leading the charge to create normalcy and a safe space."

On April 18, Hamlin furthered his advocacy in the heart health space by partnering with Abbott to help present their 2024 Heartmates, which is made up of 11 people who have come back from serious cardiovascular conditions, and their caregivers.  Below, he shares his favorite heart-healthy tips—including the best tip he got from his cardiologist.

The #1 Life-Changing Piece of Advice Hamlin Got From His Cardiologist

Hamlin is the first to admit that he's not a cardiologist and can't say what advice other cardiologists would give to someone in a similar situation to him. But after his life-threatening incident on the field last year, his cardiologist had some surprising advice.

Related: 'I'm a Cardiologist—This Is the Workout I Do Multiple Times Per Week for Heart Health'

"My journey was unique, but a cardiologist I spoke with encouraged me to get back to playing while a lot of people were giving me reasons why I shouldn't and should do something else," Hamlin said. "But I got confirmation from my cardiologist that he would recommend me to get back to playing just for the mental aspect of it. That was all the reassurance I needed."

Hamlin explained that it's similar to the advice given to people in minor car accidents—it's important to get back behind the wheel as soon as possible so you don't develop too much fear around driving. "I can't speak on what a cardiologist would say to someone else, but that's what they said to me."

Related: 'I'm a Cardiologist—This Is the One Thing I Do As Soon as I Wake Up In the Morning'

The Heart-Healthy Habits Hamlin Swears By

Hamlin says two heart-healthy habits have been game-changing for him: hydration and saunas. "I'm basic, but I'm big on hydration," he said. "Whether it's Pedialyte or plain water, I'm big on those."

As for saunas, he spends time in them four times a week. "It's a big mental reset for me, but it's also great for your body. If you do the sauna four times a week, it can increase your life expectancy."

Related: This Seemingly Harmless Symptom Could Mean You Need to See a Cardiologist

How He Stays in Shape in the Off-Season

While Hamlin is training hard during football season, he doesn't let his fitness regimen fall to the wayside during the off-season. "I do a lot of running hills in the off-season and I do a lot of squats," he said. "I'll focus on small correctives to balance out my insufficient areas."

And while he does take rest days, he takes his training routine very seriously. "I train six days a week, but Sundays are lowkey," Hamlin told Parade. "I don't really believe in work-life balance. I just keep trying to work as hard as I can while trying to stay healthy."

Next up: These Ozempic Before and After Photos Give a Real-Life Glimpse of What Life Is Like on Weight Loss Medication