Heart Health and Aging: 5 Best Heart Health Habits for Seniors
Having a healthy heart is critical to your overall wellbeing--more people continue to die from heart-related complications every day. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. Moreover, heart failure accounts for most hospitalizations among adults aged 65 and above.
Here are some heart health tips for seniors to guarantee a healthy heart and lifestyle;
Eat a healthy diet
Eating a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients and antioxidants keeps the heart healthy and functional. It also works to reduce the risk of weight-related complications, which frequently lead to cardiovascular diseases. A general rule is to avoid processed foods and instead prioritize whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats.
It is essential for seniors to check with their caregivers or physicians before engaging in a new diet or changing their current diet. In addition to keeping the heart functioning optimally, it helps ensure you are taking foods that do not react negatively with your medications.
Exercising comes first in safeguarding the health of your heart. Basically, there is no script for exercises that work best; however, engaging in a 30-minute activity every day can put you on the right path to achieving a healthy heart. Low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, jogging, and yoga can have a significant impact on your heart health.
For seniors with mobility issues, working with an in-home caregiver can ensure they have the support needed to exercise without putting themselves at risk. A caregiver can also provide guidance on the best exercises depending on the current level of fitness.
Keep stress in check
Stress has long been linked to heart disease, and it is, therefore, critical to avoid it as much as possible. According to Cleveland Clinic, experiencing stress for long periods can increase the risk of heart-related conditions, including high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms, high cholesterol levels, and damage to the arteries.
It is recommended for seniors to engage in stress-relieving activities such as exercising, eating healthy foods, and of course quitting smoking and alcohol. Consulting a healthcare provider can also help diagnose and eliminate the chances of developing complications associated with stress.
Maintain regular checkups
The risks of heart complications tend to increase as you age, a reason seniors should be prompt with regular medical checkups. A doctor can catch a developing heart problem in its early stages, for example high blood pressure, and diagnose it before it compromises your overall health.
Checkups should be scheduled at least yearly to make sure your health is being monitored closely. Be sure to also update your medication as per the guidelines of your health provider to keep your heart free of complications.
Avoid drugs and alcohol
Smoking is one of the major causes of heart disease, and it can even be more detrimental for seniors. Keeping off alcohol and smoking can prove hard, especially if you have been using them for a long time. However, talking to family members, joining support groups, and resolving to drop these habits can go a long way in keeping heart problems at bay.
Furthermore, alcohol contributes to high blood pressure, which leads to heart diseases and other complications. It is important that seniors refrain from indulging in drugs and alcohol to avoid risking their health for the long term.
In most cases, heart problems are preventable and only require you to make simple lifestyle changes. By observing these healthy habits, you can be sure to prevent heart problems to lead a healthy and fulfilling life.