Since February is heart health awareness month, we thought we would provide you with some information and healthy habits for our friendly seniors to live by that can increase their chances of having healthier hearts! And who doesn’t want a healthier heart?!
The coronavirus isn’t the only pandemic we’re dealing with. One that’s been here long before COVID-19 is heart disease! Heart disease is a pandemic sweeping through our aging communities. Heart disease is a term given to a group of conditions that directly affect the heart. Here in the United States, the most common form of heart disease is coronary heart disease, a disease responsible for heart attacks, arrhythmia, and intense chest pains.
Reportedly 84 % of people over the age of 65 pass away from heart disease. As we age, the risk of heart disease increases. However, with healthy eating habits and a few lifestyle changes you can minimize these risks.
Know the Symptoms of Heart Disease
The warning signs of heart disease might not appear until you’re actually having a heart attack. The most common symptoms of an impending heart attack include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Feeling faint
- Unusual pains in the back, shoulders, or neck
- Weakness or a sensation of light-headedness
- Having a hard time catching your breath
- Pain in the chest or an uncomfortable pressure in the chest
Reducing Risks Of Heart Disease
There are many health conditions that can contribute to heart disease and increase your chances of a heart attack. To reduce your risk the best thing you can do is practice heart disease prevention. This means that you monitor all other contributing health problems and keep them under control. To combat heart disease, you should take measures to:
- Lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels
- Keep diabetes under control
- Introduce more heart healthy foods into your diet
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Limit the use of alcohol
- Don’t smoke
There are also medications that can help treat the various aspects of heart disease. To manage chest pain doctors might recommend or prescribe nitrates, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers. Doctors have also suggested taking daily aspirin.
8 Steps to Heart Disease Prevention
It’s important to keep your heart healthy and happy! By changing your daily habits you can live a happier, longer, more fulfilling life, heart-disease free:
- Eat a heart-healthy diet. Eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables while reducing saturated fats, salt, and foods containing high levels of cholesterol, like fatty meats can help take unwanted stress off your heart.
- Get enough exercise. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. Walking, jogging, swimming, hiking, or yoga are great ways to stay active and keep your heart pumping strong.
- Quit smoking. If you do smoke, it’s time to quit!
- Watch your numbers. Get regular check-ups to monitor health conditions that affect the heart, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Making sure to monitor these numbers will give you and your doctor a good indication of when something could be going the wrong way.
- Reduce your alcohol intake. Excess alcohol consumption can worsen health conditions that contribute to heart disease, such as blood pressure, arrhythmias, and high cholesterol levels.
- Minimize stress. Stress can compound many heart disease risks that seniors already face. Find healthy outlets to relieve stress and lower your heart disease risk.
- Watch your weight. Carrying around unnecessary weight can add up to increased heart disease risk. To help prevent heart disease, maintain healthy body weight.
- Getting the right amount of sleep. Studies show that a healthier sleep pattern can lead to a 42 percent lower risk of suffering heart failure.
We know this is a lot of information, but considering its heart health awareness month we figured you wouldn’t mind! Consult with your doctor to keep health problems under control. It’s never too late to start living a healthy lifestyle. All of your efforts and healthy heart awareness will help you prolong your life. Take the first step today to living a longer and healthier life.