7 Strategies For Heart Healthy Aging
February is American Heart Month, created to raise awareness of cardiovascular disease. We thought this would be an ideal time to discuss ways that seniors, especially home bound seniors, can practice heart-healthy strategies throughout daily life.
Sadly, heart disease remains the leading cause of death for adults in this country, says the CDC. In fact, one person dies every 36 seconds from cardiovascular disease, with 655,000 Americans dying from it every year. This translates to one in every four deaths.
Heart disease may be the number one killer in America, but it also happens to be a major cause of disability. As we age, we certainly don’t want to die, but we also don’t want to live a low-quality, disabled life with a debilitating disease. Yes, it’s critical to prevent death from heart disease but it’s equally as important to prevent living a life that’s limited in every way, points out Today’s Geriatric Medicine.
Age continues to be a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease for men and women. By the time they reach 60, one in three men and one in 10 women will have heart disease.
Senior home care in Gettysburg can help older adults living with cardiovascular disease become healthier every day.
Tips For a Healthier Heart
Let’s go over some heart-healthy tips for seniors.
- Get plenty of exercise. It’s recommended to get at least a half hour of some type of exercise most days of the week. Some seniors may have limited mobility, but even then, chair exercises can be done. Short walks, even to get the mail, or working in the garden, count.
- Quit smoking. You already know smoking causes breathing difficulties and lung cancer, but were you aware it can also make you more likely to suffer a heart attack? One out of five deaths from heart disease is directly linked to tobacco use, according to WebMD.
- Eat a healthy diet. Limit saturated fats, salt, fatty meats and foods high in cholesterol, while loading up on fresh fruits and veggies, leafy greens, whole grains, berries, avocados and salmon. Stay away from processed foods, which have a lot of salt. Too much salt makes you retain water, which in turn makes your heart work harder.
- See the doctor regularly. Get regular check-ups by your doctor so he or she can monitor you for health conditions that affect your heart, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Take any prescribed medication as directed.
- Reduce alcohol intake. Excessive alcohol use can exacerbate health conditions that contribute to heart disease, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and arrhythmias.
- De-stress. Stress increases heart disease risks that many seniors already contend with, which can result in an unhealthy lifestyle. Finding healthy outlets to reduce stress, such as doing yoga, meditating, or journaling, can lower the risk of heart disease.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases the risk for heart disease. Weight is a silent heart risk, and not only does being overweight make you more susceptible to heart disease and diabetes, the extra pounds themselves can lead to heart muscle injury.
Caregivers and seniors can work together to ensure a healthy lifestyle!
Contact Preferred HealthStaff
Preferred HealthStaff provides comprehensive in home care in Gettysburg. To learn how our senior care services can benefit you or a loved one, contact us toll free at 866-943-9791 or in Fairfield 717-642-8500.