Manoogian Manor Assisted Living in Livonia, MI

Heart Healthy Habits for Seniors

Concept of heart health with a heart and stethoscope

Heart health is vital for everyone, but especially for seniors who are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack, stroke, or heart failure. According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death among adults aged 65 and older. Therefore, it is important for seniors to adopt some heart healthy habits that can help prevent or manage these conditions. Here are some heart healthy habits for seniors:

  • Eat a balanced and nutritious diet. A healthy diet can help lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, which are all risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. You should eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, and limit your intake of salt, sugar, saturated fats, and trans fats. You can also follow the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet or the Mediterranean diet, which are proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases .
  • Be physically active. Physical activity can help strengthen your heart, improve your blood circulation, and maintain your weight. You should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or dancing. You can also do some strength training exercises twice a week, such as lifting weights, doing push-ups, or using resistance bands. You should consult your doctor before starting any exercise program and choose activities that are suitable for your age and condition.
  • Quit smoking and limit alcohol. Smoking and drinking can damage your heart and blood vessels, increase your blood pressure and heart rate, and reduce your oxygen supply. Smoking can also increase your risk of blood clots, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. You should quit smoking as soon as possible and seek help from your doctor or a smoking cessation program if you need it. You should also limit your alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.
  • Manage your stress. Stress can affect your heart health by raising your blood pressure and heart rate, causing inflammation, and triggering unhealthy behaviors, such as overeating, smoking, or drinking. You should try to reduce your stress levels by practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or tai chi. You can also cope with stress by engaging in hobbies and interests that you enjoy, such as reading, listening to music, gardening, or playing games. You can also seek support from your family, friends, or a counselor if you feel overwhelmed or anxious.
  • Monitor your health and follow your treatment plan. You should check your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels regularly and keep them within the recommended ranges. You should also take your medications as prescribed by your doctor and follow their advice on how to manage your condition. You should also report any symptoms or changes in your health to your doctor as soon as possible, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, or fainting.

These are some heart healthy habits for seniors that can help prevent or manage cardiovascular diseases. By following these habits, you can improve your heart health and quality of life .

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and should not replace professional medical advice.