Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson designated February as American Heart Month to bring attention to heart disease, a leading cause of death in the United States. In honor of the anniversary of this important public awareness campaign, Home Care Assistance of Omaha, NE wanted to share 5 tips for keeping your heart healthy with age!
1. Boost your activity levels
If it’s hard to find time for the 30 minutes of exercise each day recommended for heart health, break the time into three 10-minute sessions. This way, you can do them in between household chores or even while you’re watching the television. Also, exercise doesn’t have to be boring. Engage in activities that you enjoy doing, such as gardening, dancing or walking, and you’ll be more likely to stick to the exercise plan.
2. Eat better to manage a healthy weight
Over-restrictive diets are rarely effective. Manage a heart-healthy weight by substituting great-tasting foods like fruits, vegetables and nuts for highly processed sweets and snacks. And if you’re looking to treat yourself, dark chocolate, berries and red wine are indulgences that studies have shown are packed with nutrients proven effective at maintaining a healthy heart.
3. Monitor your numbers
While you can keep tabs on your weight at home and check your blood pressure at a local pharmacy, you’ll need regular trips to the doctor to monitor your cholesterol levels, heart rate and blood glucose. Knowing your numbers makes it easier to identify any changes that can compromise heart health.
4. Explore stress-reduction strategies
Stress shifts our bodies into “fight or flight” mode, whether we’re in a real crisis or not, and the higher heart rate, blood pressure and hormone levels can wreak havoc on heart health. If activities of daily living are become difficult or stressful to complete, ask friends and family to lend a helping hand or consider help from a professional caregiver. Click here for information about hourly home care in Omaha.
5. Stop smoking
If you smoke, quit! There have been numerous studies that smoking has a negative impact on overall health, specifically increasing your risk for developing atherosclerosis, which is an accumulation of fatty substances in the arteries. Smoking also decreases the amount of “good” cholesterol and increases the blood’s tendency to clot.
By following the above steps to heart healthy living, you’re on your way to enjoying your golden years to the fullest. For more information about senior health and wellness, contact Home Care Assistance, the Omaha live-in care experts at 402-763-9140 today.