How Can Seniors Reduce The Risk and Prevent Heart Disease?
February is American Heart Month which promotes heart awareness, disease prevention, and tips for a healthy heart lifestyle. It’s an important discussion as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. In fact, one in four of every American death is due to heart disease.
Not surprisingly, the National Institute on Aging indicates that people age 65 and older are much more likely to have heart attacks, strokes, or develop coronary heart disease than any other age group. It’s also reported that those with poor cardiovascular health are at increased risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to have the best heart health possible.
Cook Right, Eat Right
A healthy diet is an important step in maintaining good heart health. Some simple tips are obvious, but worth repeating: eat more fruit and vegetables, less red meat and do what you can to switch to whole grains in your diet. Another good tip is to avoid excess fat in cooking by using more herbs and spices. Getting regular cholesterol checks to ensure your coronary health is also a good idea.
Get Up and Move
Exercise is a great way to stay heart-healthy and support general health overall. Johns Hopkins offers seven simple benefits of heart exercise which all help maintain good heart health. The exercise doesn’t have to be too strenuous, but regular exercise is important. Also, choose an activity you like: walks, bike riding, tennis, and other low-impact activities — which are all great for your health. Be realistic about trying to establish goals whether that’s weight loss, lower blood pressure, or reduced cholesterol levels.
Limit It or Eliminate It
While drinking alcohol in moderation has long been debated as a non-factor for good heart health, talk to your physician and know what is best for you. Research from the Mayo Clinic suggests that alcohol could be a contributing factor to heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends that if you do drink alcohol, do so in moderation. AHA guidelines suggest no more than one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
Smoking has long been shown to have a perilous effect on your health. The CDC indicates smoking accounted for 33 percent of all cardiovascular deaths. So the evidence is clear, put down your cigarette butt and quit smoking as quickly as possible.
Get Social and Get Healthy
The American Heart Association finds that people are most successful at maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle when they work with others on common goals. In fact, AHA uses its OurHearts program for self-care guidelines and examples to “inspire and motivate yourself and those you love to make heart health a regular part of your self-care routine.”
Comfort Keepers wants to remind all of you that a healthy heart is an important part of living your best life. Whether you are giving care to a loved one or receiving care, maintaining a good heart is a good thing for us all!
How Comfort Keepers Can Help
We offer specialized care for seniors. Contact us today to learn more!