Heart Healthy Habits for Seniors

Most of the time, February is associated with hearts because of Valentine’s Day. However, there’s another reason we should think about hearts during February; it’s National Heart Month. February has been designated as National Heart Month to advocate cardiovascular health and raise awareness about heart disease. 

It is the perfect time to learn about your heart disease for everyone since it can strike at any age. Take the time to learn about your heart, how to take care of it, and how to detect signals of heart disease. There are many ways seniors and our elderly loved ones can fully embrace their heart health. 

The American Heart Association provides many heart-healthy tips for our seniors and improving their heart health. It’s possible to reduce the risk for heart disease by making a couple of simple lifestyle changes and managing medical conditions sooner rather than later. You can keep your heart healthy no matter your age by following these everyday healthy habits. 

Get Enough Rest

Physical activity is one of the best ways to improve your heart health. The AHA (American Heart Association) recommends getting at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise. Depending on your ability, walking is an excellent way for our elderly loved ones to get up and move – little fresh air is always a good choice! 

Quit Smoking

Many of our seniors grew up in a day when the risks of smoking weren’t as openly talked about. If you are still smoking or your older loved ones are still smoking, it is time to quit. And encourage them to quit. There are many benefits to living a smoke-free life. Some of these include improved circulation, reduced risk of various cancers, and feeling more energized. Now quitting smoking can be a challenging task, especially if the years of smoking are many. So a good support system would be essential. 

Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet

It’s no secret that a heart-healthy diet is beneficial. Load up on fruit and veggies while limiting saturated fats, salt, and foods high in cholesterol, such as fatty meats. Without getting too extreme for our seniors, a Mediterranean diet is a great place to start when eating a more heart-healthy diet. Instead of red and processed meats, this diet focuses on eating a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and fish. 

Watch Your Numbers

Get regular check-ups to monitor any health conditions that may affect the heart. These conditions may include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Getting regular check-ups will help make sure everything stays under control and is managed with medications to help reduce the risk of heart disease. 

Reduce Alcohol Intake

Excess alcohol consumption can worsen health conditions that could contribute to heart diseases such as high blood pressure, arrhythmias, and high cholesterol levels. 

Watch Your Weight

To help prevent heart disease, maintain healthy body weight for your height and size. Too many excess pounds can add up to increased heart disease risk.

Get Better Sleep

It is critical for everyone, especially seniors, to get a good night’s rest. Most experts say seniors should sleep between 7-9 hours each night. Sleep is beneficial for brain functionality and emotional well-being. It is also the body’s time to recoup and recover.

Reduce Stress Factors

According to several studies, stress can compound many heart disease risks older adults already face, like high blood pressure. Take the time to find healthy outlets to relieve the stress and lower your risk of heart disease. Changing your diet can help reduce stress by simply eating less processed foods and more whole foods. And getting out to do some physical activity can also reduce the daily stressors. Both of those options are also significant new habits for decreasing your chances of heart disease. 

 

With increased awareness, education, and lifestyle changes, we can all help more Americans live longer, fuller, healthier lives and advocate for healthy habits, no matter the age. 

If you or a loved one living alone are living with heart disease and are in need of personal care, consider Assisting Hands Home Care. They provide professional and compassionate caregivers who can help with meal preparation, groceries, shopping, and a full list of other services of in-home care. Find our list of locations by visiting https://assistinghands.com/location-list/

Written by: Lauren Foster

 

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