Did you know that heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States? That is a harrowing statistic! For many seniors, heart health is a major concern, as those over the age of 65 are susceptible to heart disease and stroke. There is good news, however: there are a number of ways to help maintain your heart health. So whether you live at our retirement community in Oceanside, or you reside at home, all seniors will want to check out these seven great tips!
Tip #1: Stick to a heart-healthy diet.
What we eat matters. Your goal should be to incorporate a wide variety of healthy foods. This means getting a rainbow of fruits and vegetables and choosing foods that are high in vitamins and minerals. When eating pasta and bread, be sure to opt for whole grain! Be mindful of what is written on the label to avoid things that have added dyes, perspectives, and excess sugar. Lean meat is also a better option than red meat. Also, be sure to watch your alcohol consumption!
Tip #2: Kick the smoking habit.
While it is understandably easier said than done, if you smoke cigarettes, it’s high time to kick the habit. Smoking is the number one leading cause of preventable death. Not only that, but it also is one of the key contributing factors to heart disease and stroke. If you have been a lifelong smoker and you think it won’t matter if you stop now – think again! Even quitting now can add considerable time back to your life and slow the progression of heart disease and cancer.
Tip #3: Keep physically active.
These are your golden years and they should be spent doing the things you love! While you were working, you probably had a lot on your plate: juggling a career and family, taking care of your children, stressing about day to day affairs. All of this can add up and make it difficult to find time to exercise and take care of yourself. However, staying active is one of the best things you can do for your heart and overall physical health!
Even just twenty minutes of moderate exercise each day can go a long way. Go for a walk around the block with your dog, swim a few laps around the pool, or spend a little time on the stationary bike. No matter what you choose to do, exercise will help you to feel better and will lengthen your lifespan. Here at our retirement community in Oceanside, we also feature a robust activity calendar for our residents! This calendar provides you with ample opportunity to exercise and do something fun.
Tip #4: Maintain a healthy weight.
The higher your body fat percentage, the more likely you are to develop heart disease. It also increases your risk for stroke, diabetes, breathing issues, and even some types of cancers. However, by maintaining a healthy weight, you can combat these issues. By following the aforementioned tips above, such as eating a heart-healthy diet, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking, you should be able to shed a few pounds.
Of course, there are other factors, such as genetics and medications that play a role in weight gain. If you have concerns, make sure to talk to your primary care physician. They will be able to help you come up with a personalized plan for tackling any weight issues.
Tip #5: Watch for high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Two other health aspects you need to keep an eye on is high blood pressure and high cholesterol. These play a significant role in clogging arteries, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Oftentimes, these can be maintained through diet and exercise. However, if your numbers are high, be sure to talk to your doctor about what can be done. They may have a medication they can prescribe that could help!
Tip #6: Try to minimize your stress.
Even seniors at our retirement community in Oceanside can find things to be stressed out about. Anxiety and stress are two things that can have serious implications on our health. It can impair memory and cognition, have a negative impact on the immune system, and even be a leading cause of heart disease and high blood pressure.
However, there are methods that can help to manage stress. Exercise is always a great option! You can also take time to do the hobbies you enjoy, such as knitting, sewing, photography, painting, playing board games, and more! Journal writing can also help you to refocus your mind and filter through your thoughts. There are other relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga, too! Each person is different, so make sure to take the time to find what works best for you.
Tip #7: Get plenty of sleep at night.
Here is a fact you may not know: seniors need more sleep than other adults. It is recommended of course to get 8 hours or more of sleep each night, but seniors are also encouraged to take early afternoon naps as well. As we age, the body recovers slower, and sleep can help with this process. A prolonged lack of sleep has been linked to heart disease and other issues as well.
In order to get better rest, make sure your sleeping conditions are how you like them! A cool, dark bedroom is usually preferable. Avoid spending too much time watching TV or being on your cell phone or tablet before bed, as the blue light can impact the release of melatonin. Also, avoid drinking coffee or anything caffeinated too close to bedtime.
Contact Heritage Hills Today!
If you’re ready to move to a retirement community in Oceanside that puts your health and wellbeing first, then it’s to contact our team here at Heritage Hills! We specialize in memory care services as well as provide respite care for short term stays. To take a tour of our facility or to learn more about us, be sure to visit our website!