Five Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy

| March 1, 2018 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post

Five Ways to Keep Heart-Healthy Year Round

By: Senior Helpers

February is National Heart Health Month, and with eighty percent of heart disease being preventable, it’s important to know a few easy ways to maintain your health and keep your senior loved one’s heart beating strong this month and beyond.

Senior helpers

Senior care expert, Tonya Jackson, RN BSN, MSHA and VP of Caregiver Strategy, Senior Helpers—the premier provider of in-home senior care—shares the following tips for staying heart-healthy year round:   

  1. Treat yourself, with exercise

    Exercise is one of the best gifts you can give your heart and is crucial in preventing heart disease. Exercise lowers the risk factors associated with heart disease, such as obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugars and increased cholesterol; exercise helps with weight loss, which lowers cholesterol and can even lower the senior’s blood pressure and slow the heart rate. If you or a loved one has limited mobility, it does not mean your senior cannot exercise. Try incorporating different forms of yoga, water aerobics, chair exercises that include upper body strength, and low impact walking.

  2. Acknowledge that caring for someone ill can be a stressful time

    If you find yourself caring for a senior with heart disease, it can be a very stressful time. However, it is imperative to take care of yourself first. But do ensure your senior is active and eating a heart healthy diet.

  3. Incorporate simple lifestyle changes one bite at a time

    These simple lifestyle changes can include reducing the amount of highly processed foods and quitting smoking; these are both highly effective in preventing heart disease and can be done with baby steps to help you reach your goal. Another beneficial lifestyle change is incorporating 30 minutes a day of exercise. Pro tip: try exercising in10 minute increments, such as a walk around the block, three times a day.
    Ultimately it is all about knowing your body and what works for you—know your numbers (blood pressure, blood sugar, body mass index, and cholesterol) and stay diligent.

  4. Prioritize sleep—it’s not just a luxury

    According to a recent survey of 1,000 senior citizens ages 65+ issued by Senior Helpers, nearly 70 percent of seniors do not meet the National Sleep Foundation’s sleep duration recommendation of 7-8 hours per night for older adults. Sleep is beneficial in reducing seniors’ blood pressure and assisting with alleviating stress. Research has shown a decrease in heart disease with seniors who have 7 hours of sleep or more per night. Set a bedtime alarm to remind you when it’s time to start winding down, this will help get you in a routine of going to bed early.

  5. If you only do one thing, eliminate high sugar and high sodium foods

    A diet high in sugar and sodium is one of the worst habits that can lead to heart disease, along with smoking and drinking alcohol. Cut out sugar and opt for low sodium options as often as you can.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for adults ages 65+, but there are steps you and your loved ones can incorporate into your everyday lives to stay heart healthy year round. For additional health tips, visit the Senior Helpers blog at https://www.seniorhelpers.com/news-videos/blog/.

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