Developing habits to protect your heart and improve your health
The risk of heart disease increases with age, but there are lifestyle choices that can help keep your heart healthy and reduce your risk of a serious cardiovascular event.
Add exercise to your daily routine
Physical activity is important to improving your overall cardiovascular health, reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke by lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol.
It doesn’t have to be strenuous exercise. The point is to move your muscles and get your heart pumping. There are safe exercises even for those with limited mobility. Physical activity is anything that moves your body and burns calories, including but not limited to climbing stairs, playing sports, aerobic exercises and strength and stretching exercises.
More fruits and vegetables, less saturated fats and sodium
Improving your heart health from a dietary standpoint means eating more vegetables, fruits and whole grains and eliminating foods that are high in fat and sodium.
Fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins and minerals and are rich in fiber, which will help prevent cardiovascular disease better than higher calorie foods. Whole grains also contain fiber and other nutrients to regular blood pressure and heart health.
Avoid consuming saturated and trans fats for the sake of your blood cholesterol.
Schedule regular check-ups with a doctor
There are aspects of your health that are best monitored by a medically trained physician. Schedule annual check-ups with a medical professional to have your blood pressure and cholesterol evaluated. More frequent visits are warranted if you have heart issues or other risk factors.
Some people tend to believe that illness or poor health are the only conditions that merit a visit to the doctor, but regular check-ups can function as a preventative measure.
Learn to reduce and manage stress
Stress can have a significant impact on your heart health, especially for seniors. Everyone certainly has stress in their lives, some more than others, but too much can lead you to make unhealthy lifestyle choices and raise your blood pressure.
Identify your preferred outlet for reducing or managing your stress levels. It can be as simple as meditating, talking with a friend or going for a walk. Lowering your stress levels, however you choose to do so, can lower your risk of heart disease.