Even though February is American Heart Month, seniors should be thinking about their heart health much more often than once per year.
According to the American Heart Association, over 85 million people in the United States live with high blood-pressure which can lead to a heart attack, stroke, and chest-pain. Heart disease is responsible for 1/3 of female deaths in the US every year.
New England Seniors
Here in New England, residents generally like to stay active and take advantage of the abundance of outdoor activities. Whether that be walking, hiking, snow-shoeing, or skiing, seniors in and around New England have plenty of options to give their heart a workout.
That being said, a poor diet can cancel out all that good exercise. Daily bacon and eggs, pancakes with Vermont maple syrup can add up and create heart problems for seniors including congestive heart failure.
While there is no fool-proof way to eliminate heart disease, there are some ways to minimize your risks.
Here are five tips to improve heart health:
Exercise can go a long way towards keeping your heart - and the rest of your body - healthy. A morning walk with friends, water-aerobics, and even yoga can help seniors maintain their ideal body weight and increase heart stamina.
If your workout starts in the gym, you will only start to see results in the kitchen. Avoiding processed and high-fat foods will be just as important as staying active.
Seniors should try to eat more heart healthy foods such as lean chicken and fish, as well as leafy greens and whole grains.
This should be a no-brainer since smokers are twice as likely to have a heart attack as non-smokers, but it needs to be mentioned!
Seniors with diabetes are often already battling years of poor diets and being overweight. Adequately managing diabetes will allow your body to work properly to prevent heart disease.
Studies have shown that elevated levels of stress hormones can lead to blood clots and heart attacks. Seniors should look for ways to manage and reduce stress whenever possible. Some possible options are gardening, reading, or exercising.
We work with retirement communities here in Vermont, New England, and around the country as they try to give their residents everything they need to live a long and healthy life.