Doctor checking a senior's heart

Support Your Heart During American Heart Month

While heart health is always important, to help set the focus and remind everyone of steps they can take in the coming year, February is American Heart Month. Which is why we wanted to take advantage of this time to raise awareness about heart disease in older adults and outline ways to help prevent it.

In the United States, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death  for both men and women. Fortunately, cardiovascular health is largely within our control and changes in lifestyle habits, like food choices and activity levels, can make a big impact on seniors’ heart health.

This blog will discuss tips you can use to support your heart health. By incorporating some of these proven practices outlined below into your lifestyle, you can start to manage your blood pressure and reduce the risk of common heart problems in elderly individuals, like heart attack, stroke, and other types of heart disease. 

5 Tips to a Healthy Heart

Keep Active: Exercises like walking three or four times a week offers numerous health benefits, including lowered blood pressure and a stronger heart. Aerobic activities that engage your heart for long periods of time like swimming or biking, are among some of the most effective exercises for heart health.

Eat Healthy: We are what we eat, which is why healthy eating is essential to your overall well-being and can help support a heart-healthy lifestyle. An eating plan specifically designed with the goal of lowering blood pressure is Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH. This plan, promoted by the American Heart Association  and the Mayo Clinic , emphasizes fruit, vegetables and reducing sodium intake.

Get Your Zzzzs: Studies show that short and fragmented sleep is linked to narrowing and blocking of the arteries, which can be hard on your heart. For overall improved wellness, including heart health, it’s recommended to get a solid seven to eight hours of sleep a night by having a physically active lifestyle and avoiding coffee and fatty foods before bedtime.

Relaxation Techniques: Along with high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, irregular heart rhythms, and damage to your arteries, stress is one of the  factors that can increase your risk of heart disease. Learning to respond to stress in a healthy way, such as practicing meditation and learning relaxation exercises, will help reduce stress and minimize damage to your body.

Stop Smoking: When it comes to heart health, smoking is a major risk factor for ischemic heart disease. This form of heart disease is when plaque builds up inside the coronary arteries, which narrows the arteries and reduces the blood flow and oxygen to your heart muscle. 

Before making any lifestyle change, consult with your doctor to ensure your heart stays healthy for years to come. Your physician can also offer ways to either get on the path to a healthier lifestyle or show you how to stay there. If you don’t already have an annual check up, consider seeing the doctor to get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked once a year. While you’re there, you can discuss healthy lifestyle habits that can help you maintain heart health. Be sure to also tell your doctor if you ever feel stressed out or overwhelmed.

Focused on the Heart of the Matter

Our lifestyle at Eagle Senior Living, can help you increase your heart health. We provide three freshly prepared, nutritious meals served daily, and offer special dietary menus that are  planned by a registered dietitian. We are here to bring out the best in you. For more information about how we can help you live an active, healthier life, call one of our team members.