Active Living for Seniors: Ways to Improve Your Heart Health
The symbol of the heart and the month of February go hand in hand. Even though you are likely picturing heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, red roses, and love, this month is also dedicated to another kind of heart.
The heart is one of the most vital organs in the body. At the center of the body, it is also at the center of our health. When your heart is functioning properly, it helps all other parts of your body stay healthy.
Since February is American Heart Month, our team at Lakeshore Senior Living in Guntersville, Alabama, is sharing tips on how you can promote heart health and prevent heart disease.
What is Heart Disease?
First and foremost, it’s important to understand the basics of heart disease. According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, “heart disease is any condition that affects the structure or function of the heart. Most people think of heart disease as one condition. But in fact, heart disease is a group of conditions with many different root causes.”
Some of the most common types of heart disease include:
- Congenital heart disease
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart arrhythmia
- Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Pulmonary stenosis
Like many chronic conditions and illnesses, certain risk factors may increase your chance of developing heart disease. Understanding these risk factors and if they pertain to you can help you minimize your chances of heart disease and promote heart health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists common risk factors of heart disease as:
- High blood pressure and cholesterol
- Unhealthy diet
- Physical inactivity
While many conditions fall under the heart disease “umbrella,” common symptoms may include:
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Upper back or neck pain
- Extreme fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Palpitations or fluttering feelings in the chest
Tips for Promoting Heart Health
Get Plenty of Exercise
Physical inactivity is one of the biggest risk factors for developing heart disease. Make sure this risk factor does not pertain to you by getting plenty of exercise.
This does not mean you have to perform high-intensity workouts seven days a week. Instead, work to maintain an active lifestyle and participate in a variety of activities. For example, incorporate aerobic (cardio) activities into your lifestyle, as well as strength training exercises and activities that help you maintain your flexibility and balance.
You should always talk to your doctor before you make any changes to your exercise and fitness routine, as they will be better able to guide you on the best exercises for your overall health and wellness.
Maintain Healthy Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels
There are rarely any noticeable symptoms of high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, so the only way to know if your numbers are high is with a blood test. This makes regular check-ups with your doctor an important aspect of promoting heart health.
Your doctor will test and monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol, helping you maintain healthy levels and prevent heart disease.
Additionally, you and your doctor can discuss any other health concerns or risk factors that you may have and develop a plan to promote heart health and overall wellness.
Consume Heart-Healthy Foods
Your body needs certain nutrients to function at its best, and the heart is no different. By maintaining a heart-healthy diet, you are helping to promote heart health.
Filling up on plant-based foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can nourish your body with the necessary vitamins and nutrients without adding unnecessary fats and cholesterol. Additionally, staying away from saturated fats, salty foods, and fatty meats can help keep your cholesterol levels healthy.
All aspects of our health are connected; taking care of your heart health will help you promote overall wellness.
At Lakeshore Senior Living, we offer countless opportunities that encourage active living for seniors. From a fitness and exercise room and planned activities and events to restaurant-style dining that provides delicious and nutritious meals, our charming community in Guntersville has everything you need to lead an active, fulfilling lifestyle.
We invite you to visit our website or contact a member of our team to learn more about our services and all that we can offer you or someone you love.