As a senior, every step counts when it comes to taking care of your body, which is why it is so important to make sure you have a basic understanding of the essential body parts such as your heart.
Throughout this guide, we’ve covered a wide variety of topics from the basics of heart health to the causes and effects of cardiovascular diseases. Now that you have a better idea of the causes and effects of cardiovascular disease, we are going to outline several ways to maintain good heart health. Take a look below:
Obesity can lead to a number of health complications such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, all of which put you at risk for heart disease. One way to battle obesity is by committing yourself to a healthy lifestyle. Here are two ways you can start:
- Change your diet. Committing to a healthy diet can help to reduce your risk of heart disease. Try eating a heart-healthy diet such as the Mediterranean diet or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), which are rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat sources of protein such as beans, fish and lean meats. It also important to limit certain fats, such as saturated fats (red meat, dairy products, coconut and palm oils) and trans fats (deep-fried foods, baked goods, and processed foods).
- Get physical. Along with a healthy diet, getting active can do wonders for your health. Reducing body fat can help to decrease your blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of diabetes. For more information, you can check out series on the benefits of exercise.
*As always, remember to consult with your doctor before committing yourself to any drastic lifestyle changes in some instances, they may be able to create an diet/excercise plan that is specific to your needs, preventing any risk of injury.
Don’t use tobacco products. As the Mayo Clinic points out, smoking or using tobacco of any kind is one of the most significant risk factors for developing heart disease. Harsh chemicals in tobacco can cause damage to your heart and blood vessels, leading to the narrowing of the arteries. Studies have shown that those who quit smoking can reduce the risk of heart disease to almost that of non-smoker in about five years, significantly improving their health.
Check your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Regular check ups with your health professional can help you gauge the state of your heart health, as well as give you a better idea of what you can do to reduce the risk of heart disease. Your blood pressure can be checked about anywhere these days, from your doctors office, to your local pharmacy, or even at home. For better results, please consult with your doctor as to how often you should check your blood pressure.
As for cholesterol levels, it is suggested that you have your cholesterol measured at least once every five years.
As we age, it becomes even more important to make sure that we do our best to take care of ourselves. The heart is just one of many essential body parts that need to be monitored in order to ensure overall great health doing so can make all the difference in the world. As always, if you any questions or concerns about any of the information we’ve outlined in this series, please do not hesitate to call. We’re always here to help.
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