Practical Changes to Help Seniors Enhance Heart Health
February is American Heart Month and a wonderful time to implement healthy changes to your lifestyle and diet to promote heart health. This is essential for seniors who want to boost their well-being so they can stay healthier and more active for years to come. Changes don’t have to be drastic or made all at once either. Rather than doing a complete overhaul, start slowly and work your way into things so you have time to adjust and adapt.
- Exercise at least 5 days per week.
There are so many things that you can do to stay active that don’t necessarily mean hitting the gym every day or doing the same routine over and over again. If the weather is nice, get outside and go for a walk, hike, run, or bike ride. Find an indoor pool and swim laps or take an aquatic fitness class. Sign up for exercise classes geared specifically toward the needs of seniors at the rec center or local gym. Pop in a DVD and work out at home, or get your daily exercise in by engaging in some vigorous spring cleaning. Your heart, lungs, muscles, and joints will thank you.
- Improve your diet.
Start paying more attention to exactly what you’re eating. Read labels and focus on cutting down on salt, fat, and cholesterol. Incorporate more fresh or frozen produce, lean meats, and whole grains into your meals. If you’re looking for more flavor, experiment with herbs and spices rather than adding salt.
- Quit smoking.
This can be a hard habit to break, but quitting smoking can be highly beneficial for your health. Within just 24 hours of stopping, your risk of a heart attack decreases and blood pressure and heart rate drop. After a few weeks, your circulation and lung function improve. Being a non-smoker for one year cuts your risk of coronary heart disease in half, and after two years, risk of stroke has fallen as well. Five years after quitting? Your risk of cancer drops too. Make it a point to get the help you need for smoking cessation.
- Reduce stress.
Start doing little things each day to promote calmness, relaxation, and improved mood. This could include spending more time with friends who make you laugh and feel good about yourself, signing up for activities or hobbies you enjoy, and learning how to say no if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Hiring an in-home caregiver can be beneficial as well to help with tasks around the home you may struggle with. From meal planning and preparation and organizing belongings to morning or evening routines, an in-home care provider can be there when you need them most. They can also be a wonderful source of companionship and support, even further reducing stress or anxiety and promoting heart health. Contact Always Best Care today at (855) 470-2273 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about in-home care services to meet your individual needs.