5 Simple Ways to Reduce Heart Disease in Seniors
Heart disease is a scary topic, but one that should be taken seriously. As you age, your risks of developing problems increases, but if you follow the simple steps below you can greatly reduce your chances of encountering these issues.
Eat Fruits & Vegetables
The effects of a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and veggies can be linked to many aspects of healthy living including maintaining a healthy weight, lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of heart disease and stroke in seniors. Since no single fruit or vegetable will provide you with all the vitamins you need, it’s important for seniors to eat a wide variety of produce to reduce their risks of heart disease.
Replace Bad Fats with Healthy Fats
Fried foods and baked goods are high in trans fats and hydrogenated fats. Whereas animal products such as fatty meats, full fat dairy, and butter are full of saturated fats. Having a diet high in these types of fats increases blood cholesterol, leading to clogged arteries. For seniors this is especially dangerous as their weaker heart must work harder to carry oxygen through blood flow to the heart. A simple way to reduce heart disease in seniors is to replace those bad fats with foods that have Omega-3 fatty acids like nuts, seeds and fish. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risks of heart disease in seniors by helping raise your HDL cholesterol, also known as “good” cholesterol, and helps move it through the body and remove some of the LDL “bad” cholesterol.
Another way seniors can reduce their risk of heart disease through their diet is by reducing sodium. The first step is reducing the number of processed foods (boxed, canned, packaged) and but also looking at the sodium content. The Center for Disease and Prevention recommends that adults ages 51 and older should only have a daily sodium intake of 1,500 mg or less. Too much sodium in the body causes it to retain water and make your heart work harder, which leads to high blood pressure.
Reduce Stress with Exercise
At times, life can get stressful for everyone, but it is important for seniors to manage their stress with light to moderate exercise. Excessive stress can lead to high blood pressure and eating more comforting foods that are high in saturated fats. Doing 30 minutes a few times a week of walking, yoga, meditating or swimming can make a world of difference for a senior’s stress and overall health. It’s important for seniors to talk to their doctor before starting any new exercise routine to prevent injury and ensure safety.
Regular Check up
One of the most important thing seniors can do to reduce their risk of heart disease is to get a check up with their doctor at least once a year. If there are already health concerns, or history of heart disease, going more often is recommended. Talking to the doctor about stress levels, change in diet or exercise is also important as it can affect the way the heart functions.
If you have any concerns or would like some help living more comfortably at home or booking an in home visit, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-866-982-2737 and speak with some about setting up an at home care assessment today.