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5 Heart Health Tips for Aging Adults

5 Heart Health Tips for Aging Adults

February is American Heart Month, and we think it’s the perfect time to discuss heart health and provide you with five tips to help improve your heart health. As we age, we are at a greater risk of heart attacks and strokes since aging can cause changes in the heart and blood vessels. Below are five tips that can help you in lowering the risk of certain heart-related diseases. 

1. Increase Physical Activity 

We know you’ve heard this before but try to be more physically active. Make sure you discuss with your doctor what physical activities would be best for you. Try to achieve at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week to stay in shape. Older adults often benefit from aerobic exercise and exercises that strengthen muscles, improve balance and increase flexibility. Exercise doesn’t have to be daunting when you’re doing something you enjoy such as a brisk walk with a loved one, bowling, gardening or dancing! 

2. Quit Smoking 

If you’re a smoker, quitting is a major factor in lowering your risk of heart problems. It’s never too late to quit smoking. In fact, quitting can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer over time. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and adds to the damage to artery walls. If you’re having trouble quitting, speak to your doctor about support programs and other options to aid in your journey to quitting.  

3. Stick to a Heart-Healthy Diet 

Eating healthily can have a significant impact on your health, especially as you get older. Sticking to heart-healthy foods that are low in trans and saturated fats, added sugars and salt will make a difference. Salt can cause swelling in the legs and feet as we get older since we become more sensitive to it. Keep an eye on those nutrition labels and search for foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, colorful fruits and vegetables which are all great for your heart!  

4. Keep Health Conditions Under Control 

If you have diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, it’s important to follow your doctor’s orders to manage these conditions and take your medications as directed. High blood pressure, which causes stiffness of the large arteries, and high cholesterol, which can lead to plaque buildup in your arteries, are both major risk factors for heart disease. 

5. Minimize Stress 

We know that this tip sounds easier said than done, but studies have shown that higher stress levels can trigger a heart attack and contribute to high blood pressure. Chronic stress can affect other aspects of your health, including your immune system, anxiety, memory, learning and depression. If you’re experiencing stress, talk about your concerns with a loved one, primary care physician or a licensed therapist. Incorporate stress-relieving activities into your daily life, such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, and other therapeutic methods. 

Keep an Eye on Your Health 

Lastly, be in the know about your health. Attend regular checkups with your doctor and be sure you can recognize the symptoms of heart disease—and if you do—seek medical attention immediately. If you experience any of these common symptoms, make sure to contact your doctor: 

  • Shortness of breath with activity or when lying down 
  • Fatigue and weakness 
  • Pain, numbness or tingling sensations 
  • Swelling in stomach, neck, legs, ankles and feet 
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat 
  • Problems with regular activities 
  • Tiredness, fatigue, lightheadedness 

At CarePro, we’re your partner in health, which is why we carry the medical equipment and supplies that allow you to live more safely and independently. Learn more about how we can assist you in enhancing yourself today by visiting our website or contacting us.