The Importance of Heart Health for Seniors
28 February 2022
Maintaining a strong and healthy heart can bring so many incredible benefits to seniors and older adults. Our hearts help deliver blood throughout the body and can beat millions of times over the course of our lives. For seniors looking to live long and healthy lives, it’s vital to integrate heart-healthy habits into daily life.
Unfortunately, aging can cause unwanted changes to the heart and blood vessels. It may be more difficult for the heart to beat as fast and fatty deposits can build up in arterial walls as decades go by.
Seniors can often experience more stiffness or hardening in their arteries. Known as atherosclerosis, this condition can lead to high blood pressure and is common among aging adults. Thankfully, there are things that seniors can do to reverse any risks they may have for heart disease and prevent serious problems from developing.
So what are some great ways seniors can maintain and improve upon their cardiovascular health? Keep reading to learn more!
To improve the condition of their heart and arterial walls, it would be wise for seniors to avoid smoking cigarettes. Doing so can reduce the risk of developing many forms of illness including heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Smoking is a leading cause of preventable death and can significantly damage the cardiovascular health of seniors over time.
Focus on Heart-Healthy Foods
Integrating heart-healthy foods into meals is an excellent way for seniors to reduce their risk of developing heart disease. These nutritious foods can actually boost heart health and make it easier for the heart to pump blood throughout the body. For example, fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, and tuna are excellent for cardiovascular health.
Other heart-friendly foods include nuts such as walnuts and almonds. Beans, tomatoes, and leafy green vegetables also bring tremendous benefits to the heart and cardiovascular well-being. Berries are great for heart health and so are avocados and tomatoes. Research has shown a strong correlation between what we eat and our risk of developing heart disease. For these reasons, it would be wise for seniors to focus on heart-healthy foods on a regular basis.
Seniors that take the time to perform regular aerobic exercise can experience many positive benefits to their health. These can be related to improvements in brain, metabolic, and cardiovascular health. Active seniors have better blood pressure, lipid profiles, blood sugar levels, and healthier arteries.
Even moderate activities such as walking or gardening can help seniors improve their well-being. Ideally, older adults should aim for thirty minutes of activity at least five days a week. Seniors looking to restart an active lifestyle should talk to their doctor about doing so in a safe way.
It may not seem like a big deal, but high levels of stress can lead to increases in heart problems and disease. This is because stress often leads to inflammation within the body that can trigger high blood pressure and other types of damage. Seniors that are under chronic stress must learn to pinpoint where their stress is coming from. They also need to develop healthy outlets to relieve their stress and anxiety levels on a regular basis.
Some great ways to relieve stress include meditation, yoga, gardening, and walking. Breathing exercises can also be very helpful in high-stress situations. By combining a healthy diet, consistent exercise, and stress-relieving techniques, seniors can effectively control any unwanted side effects they may get from too much stress.
As you can see, maintaining a focus on cardiovascular health is very important for seniors. Doing so can help prevent heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems from developing in the future. Thankfully, heart-friendly habits can also bring benefits to other parts of the body and help manage any other chronic conditions that seniors may have.
By focusing on an active lifestyle and heart-healthy foods, seniors can start to develop daily habits that improve their cardiovascular health in the long run. Stress management is also a key component of avoiding heart problems and should be taken just as seriously as diet and exercise.
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