Your heart is the hardest-working muscle in your body. Like all muscles, your heart undergoes changes as you age. Even the healthiest individual may experience heart-related issues such as slower or irregular heart rate, heart walls thickening, less-efficient pumping of the blood, or overall weakening of the muscle. Over time, if your heart is not able to pump blood as it should or the heart grows weaker, you become more at risk for heart disease.
To date, heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States. The CDC reports that over 600,000 Americans die from heart disease annually, and around 735,000 people suffer a heart attack every year. So, what can you do to protect your heart from this deadly disease?
5 Healthy Heart Tips
First, it’s important that you understand the main risk factors for heart disease. While things like family history, sex, and ethnicity cannot be changed, other key factors that impact your heart health include conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. People who are overweight or who smoke tobacco are also at an increased risk of heart disease.
If you think you might be at risk for any heart conditions or heart disease, make an appointment to visit your doctor. You’ll be able to learn more about your “good” cholesterol (HDL) and “bad” cholesterol (LDL) levels, whether you have high or low blood pressure, if you need to get serious about dropping some of that extra weight, and what your BMI (body mass index) is. Knowing your current health status will help you take the necessary steps in the right direction towards a healthier heart.
Improve your heart health with these five healthy heart tips:
- Make healthy lifestyle changes. Lace up your sneakers, find some exercises you enjoy, and get your heart rate up for 30 minutes every day. It’s also time to make nutritious food choices, like reaching for fruits, veggies, and whole grains over those pre-packaged items high in sodium and empty calories.
- Minimize your stress. Stress increases adrenaline in your body which can overwork your heart. Learn how to unwind and relax every day, finding ways to lower your stress levels. This could mean settling in with a book, shutting off electronic devices for a few hours, taking a yoga class, or even just enjoying some good conversation with friends.
- Ditch the bad habits. If you smoke, it’s time to kick the habit. The same goes for excessive alcohol consumption – it’s time to cut back. If you need more of an incentive, studies show that after just one year of quitting smoking your risk for heart disease is cut in half!
- Get the right amount of sleep. Research shows that people who don’t get enough sleep are more than twice as likely as those who do to die of heart disease. Sleep provides your body with a chance to shut down and recover, which is good for all aspects of your health.
- Take medications as prescribed. Finally, if your doctor recommended any medications for conditions like high blood pressure or cholesterol, take them exactly as prescribed. Be sure to mention any side effects, and make follow up appointments as needed to continue to monitor your heart health.
Enjoy A Vibrant, Healthy Lifestyle at Silver Maples
Maintain the highest quality of life at Silver Maples Retirement Neighborhood! You’ll find plenty of opportunities to stay active and improve your health, no matter what your abilities may be. Enjoy daily walks when the weather permits on our paved paths, or head to the nearby Chelsea Wellness Center for an invigorating workout. Contact us today to schedule your personal tour to see all that our beautiful community has to offer.