Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States. However, it’s also highly preventable. While a genetic propensity towards developing cardiovascular issues later in life can’t be easily controlled, the risk of developing many forms of heart disease can be greatly reduced through preventative efforts.
In honor of Heart Health Month, a yearly campaign headed by the American Heart Association to raise national awareness of cardiovascular conditions, Home Care Assistance Sonoma County wanted to share some of the best ways for seniors to reduce their risk for heart disease.
Quit Smoking and Curb Drinking
Even social smoking can increase the odds of developing heart disease. Fortunately, the risk of developing heart disease falls to the same level as non-smokers about five years after kicking the habit. While there are known health benefits associated with some wines, alcohol consumption should be kept to a minimum (no more than one drink a day).
Get Regular Exercise
Getting just a half hour of exercise nearly every day can have noticeable benefits when it comes to maintaining optimal heart health. Regular activities like gardening and walking can also count as exercise. Even modified exercise routines for shorter periods can be beneficial for seniors and older adults.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables and low in saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fats (not all fats are bad) can provide a solid line of defense against heart disease. Saturated fats, found primarily in red meats and dairy products, should be kept to a minimum. Additional tips for preventing heart disease include:
- Losing weight (also helps curb high blood pressure)
- Getting quality sleep (adults need 7-9 hours of regular recuperative sleep)
- Attending annual health screenings (for blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes)
- Taking medications as prescribed (including aspirin when doctor-suggested as a preventative measure)
For people identified as “at risk” for heart disease, there are still preventative measures that can be beneficial such as adopting a well-balanced diet, reducing stress and following a doctor-approved exercise plan. Consider scheduling regular heart exams since early detection is important when it comes to surviving heart disease.
To learn more about how to live a heart-healthy lifestyle, reach out to Home Care Assistance Sonoma County. We offer complimentary no obligation consultations and all of our services come backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call 707-843-4368 and don’t forget to ask about our revolutionary Balanced Care Method, which focuses on the key components of maintaining a healthy heart with age.