Community Blog

5 Heart-Healthy Tips for Seniors

By Vicki Crow and Brian Day

February has had the distinction of being American Heart Month since Lyndon B. Johnson was president. It is a time for all people, from teenagers to seniors, to reflect on their cardiovascular health. There are plenty of steps you can start taking to improve your heart health, and a caregiving professional can help you with various tasks.

 

  1. Eat Healthy

The things you eat play a critical role in how well your heart functions. Some items you want to be certain you eat often include:

 

  • Nuts
  • High fiber foods
  • Colorful vegetables and fruits
  • Whole grains

 

Avoid consuming too much butter and fat. You also do not want a diet that is excessively high in meats or dairy products.

 

  1. Know Your Numbers

Before pursuing any drastic changes in your diet or lifestyle, you should see a doctor to get a thorough report concerning your heart. Your doctor can run various tests to determine what your numbers are and what areas you need to improve upon. For example, your total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL. Your blood pressure should be less than 120/80 mm Hg. By knowing what your baselines are like, you know precisely what actions will help the most.

 

  1. Exercise Often

Exercising can become harder as you get older. However, it is still important to get some amount of exercise every day. Even going for a 10-minute walk can help tremendously as long as you stick with it. Some other great forms of light exercise for seniors include yoga, water aerobics and light weight lifting.

 

  1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Many people do not realize that their dental health greatly affects their hearts. The reason is that bacteria in the mouth can make its way into the bloodstream, which leads to the heart and can inflame blood vessels. The easiest thing you can do is to brush and floss every day to prevent periodontal disease.

 

  1. Get Plenty of Sleep

People who do not get seven to eight hours of sleep a night are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Individuals over the age of 45 are much more likely to have heart problems if they do not sleep enough. If you have any sleep-related disorders, such as insomnia and sleep apnea, then address those issues immediately.

 

If you require assistance with exercising more or eating healthier, then a caregiver from Home Helpers of Walnutport can be a tremendous help. Contact us through our online form to learn more and see if a caregiver is right for you.