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Tips on Heart Health for Seniors

Heart health for seniors is a crucial part of taking care of yourself as you age. It is important to know the best diets for healthy hearts.

Exercise regularly

You hear health professionals telling you to exercise regularly your entire life, but it is crucial for seniors. Exercising is one of the best things you can do for your heart and brain health.

Exercising does not have to happen at the gym. Instead, you can work out from home with moderate plans. There is no wrong way to get your exercise in for the day.

The most important part is that you get your body moving. That can include a walk or some time spent in a gym. If you are not in the habit of exercising regularly, you can start small with something that you already enjoy. Starting with a slow, simple workout, then gradually increasing the intensity is the best strategy for everybody, regardless of age.

Most seniors can reduce their heart disease risk by exercising for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. 

Smart shopping

Your diet plays a huge role in your heart health. You can reduce your chances of heart disease when you make smart diet decisions.

The general rule is that you should shop for fresh and minimally-processed foods when doing your grocery shopping. Keeping your heart health in mind, that can include vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and whole grains.

A good way to stick to these foods is by shopping around the perimeter of the store and staying away from the foods with trans fats and full of sugar in the center.

Before making any drastic diet or health changes, it is important to talk to your physician. In addition, ask your doctor about any foods that could interfere with the medications you are taking.

Here are some key rules to use when shopping for heart healthy foods:

  • Avoid high fat high fat dairy and meat.
  • Buy nuts and high fiber foods.
  • Buy fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid butter.
  • Read the nutrition label.

Stop smoking

It is well known that smoking is bad for your health, especially your heart health. It is never too late to improve your health and quit smoking.

Smoking is a hard habit to break, but it is doable. There are nicotine products that are designed to help you quit such as gum and patches. It could also help to find a support group or non-smoking family and friends that can help guide you to staying cigarette free.

Visit your doctor regularly

While everyone should be visiting their doctor regularly, this becomes even more crucial in your senior years. As you continue to age, your risk level for heart health problems starts to increase and it is crucial to see your doctor and keep it under control.

Oftentimes, a doctor’s visit can catch a developing health problem before it becomes a life threatening issue, and it can help you manage conditions and symptoms.

Manage alcohol intake

Consuming too much alcohol can be a bad thing for any age, but it can become more serious as you age. Drinking on special occasions and monitoring how much you drink will likely not have a negative impact on your heart health. However, drinking daily causes high blood pressure.

Along with high blood pressure, excessive alcohol use can cause a variety of health issues. For seniors that have no history of drinking, you should avoid starting. For those that do drink, it is important to keep your intake at a moderate level.

Get support

Heart disease is not only caused by physical lifestyle factors. Emotional issues such as loneliness, stress, anxiety, and depression have also been linked to poor heart health as well. These emotional factors can contribute significantly to heart health issues. In order to avoid these complications, you can reach out to your doctor or support system for the help and company that you need.

A task like hiring a home caregiver can help seniors that have trouble with their everyday tasks. A home caregiver can also help seniors who are feeling lonely or who want to get out of the house more. 

Minimize stress

Minimizing stress is a task that is easier said than done. It is not uncommon to have stress in your life, but it is crucial for your heart heart health that you find a way to minimize and manage your stress level. 

Whether you reduce your stress through physical activities or art projects, finding something mindful that helps your stress level is a good idea. If you are suffering from excessive stress, you may be dealing with health problems like high blood pressure.

Sleep

When you think about your heart health, you may not think about your sleeping schedule but it is important. While some people do not experience problems with sleep, others may find it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Sleep can have a big impact on your general health, so it is important to find ways to improve your sleep if you are struggling. Some of the following can help:

  • Limit your caffeine intake and stop drinking it no later than 2 p.m.
  • Limit naps to 20 minutes.
  • Stick to a sleep schedule.
  • Do not use electronic devices or watch TV before bed.
  • Schedule your workouts earlier in the day.
  • Less than 5 hours of sleep increases your risk of heart disease, so make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep a night.

It is important to keep your heart health in mind when you are sleeping, eating, exercising, and planning your day-to-day life, especially as you age. Heart health for seniors should be a top priority when considering your health.

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Hannah Verret
Hannah Verret is a Content Developer at Med-Alert Pros in Memphis, TN. Hannah has been working in content creation throughout her entire adult career. When Hannah isn't writing or organizing social media posts, she's spending her time reading and loving on her many pets.

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