February is National Heart Health Month. As we age, it is important to take steps to protect our hearts and prevent disease. Luckily, there are many simple, actionable steps seniors can take to maintain and improve their heart health.
Be more physically active. Incorporate regular physical exercise into your daily routine. Try low-impact, high-value activities like gardening, dynamic walking, swimming, yoga, or tai chi. If you are unsure about the activity that is right for you, or don’t know where to start, reach out to your doctor. They can recommend an appropriate activity schedule and calendar. Reach out to the Life Enrichment staff at your community to incorporate fitness activities into your weekly schedule.
Minimize alcohol consumption. Limit drinking to two drinks a day for men, and one drink a day for women. Alcohol can suppress the immune system and contribute to heart disease.
Eat a healthy diet. Healthy eating contributes to increased energy, immunity, and well-being. Avoid foods with added sugars, high levels of salt, preservatives, and saturated fat. Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, and food options with high fiber. Work with your retirement community and doctor to ensure you are following a balanced and healthful diet. Consuming whole grains and fish have been shown to contribute to increased heart health.
Quit smoking. Smoking contributes to variety of health issues, with heart disease a primary issue. Quitting smoking not only contributes to better respiration and oxygen intake, it drastically lowers to the risk of stroke, heart attacks, and cancer.
Stress management. Stress is a fact of life, but we can control our response to it. Practice mindfulness, meditation, and regular exercise to control the impact of stress on your health. Avoid using alcohol or cigarettes to maintain your stress levels. Reading, drawing, or taking a calming walk are healthful, easy ways to manage stress.
Monitor your blood pressure. Be sure to monitor your blood pressure on a regular schedule. Partner with your doctor or the care staff at your retirement community to form a plan to track and reduce your blood pressure if necessary.
Chateau Retirement Communities works with residents to maintain and improve their health through life enrichment activities, physical engagement, and healthy eating. Learn more about the many ways we support heart health and the ability to live happier, healthier and longer by contacting us today.