Your heart beats about 100,000 times a day. This vital organ works hard to keep you healthy, so it’s important to take care of it. There are a lot of ailments that can affect the heart, and heart disease is among the most prominent of those, especially for seniors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for adults ages 65 and older. Therefore, seniors may benefit from enhancing their heart health during their retirement lifestyle. Here’s how you can get started:
Eat a healthy diet
The CDC lists poor diet and being overweight as lifestyle and medical factors that increase people’s risk for heart disease. Eating a well-balanced diet not only helps you manage your weight, but it can also ensure you’re getting the heart-healthy nutrients you need.
According to the Mayo Clinic, eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help ward off heart disease. It’s also important to limit certain elements from your diet such as saturated and trans fats. So, when it comes to choosing what you’ll eat for dinner, opt for fish that’s high in omega-3 fatty acids instead of a steak, since red meat is high in saturated fat.
Kick bad habits
It’s no secret that smoking and drinking can contribute to poor health, and this is especially true when it comes to heart disease. Kick these bad habits to the curb as soon as possible to lower your risk. If you’re struggling to quit, ask your physician if he or she has any tools to help, or see if your community offers group support classes.
Get your exercise
Exercising on a regular basis can help manage your weight, strengthen your heart and control other risk factors related to heart disease. Remember, working out doesn’t have to be a chore. Make it fun by doing something you love such as dancing or biking. Seniors can turn their workouts into a social activity by signing up for group exercises classes in their active retirement community. Even just taking an evening stroll along your community’s walking paths can put you on the right track for a healthy heart.
Life is unpredictable and full of hectic moments, so it’s not practical to avoid anything that causes anxiety. However, there are a lot of strategies to beating the heart strain that comes with stressful situations. Getting a good night’s rest is a start. Seniors may also benefit from group yoga classes, or dedicating time each day to peaceful meditation.