The month of February is all about the heart. Of course, there’s Valentine’s Day that you can celebrate with all your loved ones. But, did you know February is also American Heart Month? This is the perfect time to educate yourself about the heart, spread awareness and take action to improve your own heart health.
As you age, your heart health becomes more important than ever. People aged 65 and older are more likely to suffer from heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and heart disease due to the weakening of the heart muscle and blood vessels. However, you can minimize your risk of experiencing these conditions by keeping your heart healthy.
5 Heart Health Tips for Seniors
Your heart works day in and day out, pumping blood throughout your body without you even thinking about it. The right side of your heart pumps blood to your lungs to pick up oxygen and the left side receives blood rich with oxygen from the lungs. Keeping both sides of your heart functioning as they should keeps you healthy and strong. So, what can you do to promote a healthy heart? Incorporate these five habits into your everyday routine:
- Be More Physically Active. Staying active each day can help you avoid a sedentary lifestyle. You should aim for at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week, if possible. You can walk every day, dance, bike or even garden. Talk with your doctor to determine the safest ways for you to stay active and pick exercises or workouts that you’ll enjoy the most!
- Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet. What you eat every day has an impact on your heart health. Start eating foods that are low in trans and saturated fats, added sugars and salt. Instead, eat ample amounts of vegetables, fruits, foods with high fiber and whole grains. Your doctor is a wonderful resource if you aren’t sure what changes you should make to your diet.
- Keep Your Stress Levels Low. Stress can be detrimental to your overall well-being, as it can increase your blood pressure and put you at higher risk of stroke, heart attack and heart disease. While experiencing occasional stress is inevitable, you should try to minimize your stress by taking part in calming activities. For example, the practice of meditation can help balance your breathing and lower your stress levels. Exercise and socialization with loved ones are also activities that can improve your stress levels.
- Get Enough Sleep Every Night. A good night’s sleep gives your body a chance to repair itself and reenergize. While you are sleeping, your body supports healthy brain function and works to maintain your physical health. When you don’t get enough sleep every night, you can increase your risk of chronic health issues, including serious heart conditions. Aim to get between seven to nine hours of sleep every night to help keep your heart healthy and strong.
- Schedule Physicals with Your Doctor. A key to being healthy and remaining that way is to periodically check in with your doctor. Keep up with your annual physicals, so your doctor can monitor your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight. These are three key factors that impact your heart health, so work with your doctor to keep your blood pressure, cholesterol and weight at healthy levels.
Knute Nelson Helps You Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Knute Nelson strives to offer residents ample opportunities to keep themselves healthy. Our Wellness Center includes classes for all fitness levels, personal trainers, a cardiovascular strength room and more to help you stay fit and active. You can also access our fitness classes virtually through our Wellness On-Demand option, to help you stay active from the comfort of your own home.
Contact us today to learn more about our wellness programming designed with resident and patient heart health in mind!