May 9, 2022
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Furthermore, the CDC reports that seniors are particularly at risk for heart disease.
Maintaining a healthy heart is essential for seniors, as it can help to keep them feeling energized and active. Let’s outline some simple strategies that can go a long way in promoting heart health in seniors, and ultimately help to enjoy the golden years with vitality and purpose.
Maintain a Hearty Diet
While there are many factors that contribute to heart disease, diet is one of the most important. Eating heart-healthy foods can help to reduce your risk of developing disease, and it can also help to improve your overall health.
The American Heart Association recommends a diet that is low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars. Instead, focus on foods that are high in fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients are all essential for maintaining a healthy heart.
Good sources of these nutrients include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, and seeds. So make sure to add plenty of these healthy foods to your diet.:
- High-fiber: Whole grain pasta, brown rice, popcorn, berries, almonds
- Antioxidants: Berries, dark chocolate, red grapes, pecans, red pepper
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Salmon, plant-based oils, avocados, flaxseeds
Maintaining proper hydration is essential for seniors. The heart relies heavily on proper hydration in order to perform at optimal levels. Conversely, dehydration can significantly increase the risk of disease. For this reason, seniors should make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Staying properly hydrated may also help to ward off other common issues that affect seniors, such as cognitive decline or pneumonia. Seniors should make a point to drink adequate amounts of water every day. This is an easy and effective way to support heart health and improve overall quality of life for seniors.
Strengthen the Heart Through Exercise
Another way seniors can promote heart health is through exercise. Regular exercise helps to strengthen the heart muscle and reduce the risk of disease.
Walking, swimming, and yoga are all excellent forms of exercise for seniors. Walking and swimming are low-impact activities that can easily be done daily. Low-impact activities are also easy on the joints. Yoga can help to improve flexibility and reduce stress levels.
Exercise is also a great way to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both of which are major risk factors for heart disease. By incorporating exercise into their daily routine, seniors can help to reduce their risks and enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
The Benefits of Stress Reduction
As seniors get older, they are faced with several challenges that can put stress on their minds and bodies. Activities that used to be easy or simple now become difficult and stressful. Including climbing the stairs, cooking a meal, or keeping up with mundane household chores. Given these challenges, it’s no wonder that so many seniors struggle with high levels of stress on a regular basis.
To help reduce this stress, there are a number of useful tips that can be followed. One is to exercise regularly (see above). Working out helps to lower heart rate and blood pressure, making it easier for your body function properly under pressure. Additionally, staying active can help seniors retain muscle strength and coordination as they age, which makes daily tasks like moving from place to place much easier.
Another important strategy for reducing stress is to stay social. Seniors who maintain close ties with friends and family will typically feel more supported when facing difficult situations. Staying connected also gives seniors access to emotional support during tough times. This is crucial for maintaining mental-wellbeing as they age. Reducing stress as a senior is important not only for your physical health but also for your health overall.
Managing Blood Pressure
Managing blood pressure is one of the most important things seniors can do to promote heart health. High blood pressure puts extra strain on the body and can lead to heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Seniors with high blood pressure are also at increased risk for cognitive decline and memory problems.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a stage of elevated pressure in the arteries. This stage can be classified as stage 1, stage 2, or stage 3, with stage 3 being the most severe. Hypertension is often seen in seniors, and it can be a serious condition if left untreated. Managing blood pressure is essential for treating hypertension and reducing the risk of complications.
There are many ways to manage hypertension, including the lifestyle changes with highlighted previously, and medications. If lifestyle changes alone are not enough to manage your blood pressure, your doctor may also prescribe these medication. There are many different types of medication available, so it is important to work with your doctor to find the best option for you. Managing blood pressure is an important part of treating hypertension and living a healthy life.
Keep Your Heart Health in Mind
Heart-health minded choices are important for everyone, but especially for seniors as they are at a higher risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. By eating a variety of healthy foods, exercising regularly and reducing stress, you can reduce your risks of developing these health conditions and enjoy a longer, healthier life.
Ready to make the move to senior living?
Barclay Friends’ Preston building offers a wide range of nutritious meals, three times a day!