Did you know that your heart will beat over two billion times during the course of your life? Your heart works hard for you, and it’ll keep doing so as long as you take care of it well. Following some simple heart health tips for seniors is a great place to start.
Heart Health Tips for Seniors
The human heart is an incredible organ. It’s only about the size of your fist, but it’s still strong enough to keep your blood pumping and your body moving through all kinds of circumstances. Your heart never stops working for you, so return the favor by making these heart health tips for seniors a part of your everyday routine.
Adopt a Heart-Healthy Diet
The connection between a nutritious diet and a happy, healthy heart is undeniable. You can continue to enjoy the treats you love, as long as you balance them with foods that contribute to your cardiovascular health. The following ideas should help you on your way:
- Focus on fiber. Fiber helps lower your cholesterol count, a key metric in avoiding heart disease. There is lots of fiber in fresh and dried fruits, fresh vegetables, and whole-grain foods. If the idea of snacking on raw carrots isn’t fun, add hummus or other healthy dips. Smoothies, soups, and other liquid foods still pack a fiber punch and can be more palatable than a plain salad. Frozen fruit is also a great summer treat!
- Watch out for saturated fats and trans fats. Whenever possible, substitute unhealthy fats with healthy fats that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- If keeping it healthy is starting to feel a little monotonous, indulge in a heart-healthy treat. Dark chocolate and red wine both have antioxidants and other ingredients that promote heart health. Why not have a night in with a glass of wine and your favorite book?
Keep Your Heart in Shape with Healthy Exercise
Your diet is important for keeping your heart healthy, but your heart also needs regular exercise in order to function well. Once you make it a part of your everyday routine, it may become a habit you look forward to. Use these tips to get started:
- Start where you’re at. If you don’t exercise regularly, now is not the time to attempt to run a marathon. Work with a professional who can help you ramp up to daily exercise in a healthy way. You should also be sure to talk to your doctor before you start any new workout.
- The best form of exercise to improve your heart health is cardiovascular exercise. The easiest and most accessible form of cardiovascular exercise is a daily walk, which is a great place to start.
- You’ll enjoy exercise more (and benefit more from it) if you mix up your cardio with other kinds of exercise. You can try aerobics classes, swimming at the gym, and lots of other ways to move your body in a healthy way. Think of it as recess for adults.
Take Care of Your Emotions Too
While your physical heart is important, your metaphorical “heart” also has an effect on your physical health. So while you’re taking care of your body, don’t neglect your emotions:
- Make an effort to stay connected to loved ones. Strong social connections have a documented positive effect on your cardiovascular health. Call a friend every day, make plans to see family on the holidays, and check out group classes and other opportunities to make new friends.
- Laughter isn’t always the best medicine, but it’s definitely good for your mood. Laughter promotes strong emotional regulation and can help lower blood pressure. Set aside a little time to laugh every day with the comics page or a funny TV show.
- Embrace gratitude. People who go out of their way to practice thankfulness have lower blood pressure and better health outcomes than those that don’t. Consider keeping a gratitude journal, or just take a moment at the end of every day to reflect on your good fortune.
Following these heart health tips for seniors is a wonderful way to keep your heart happy and healthy throughout your golden years. Just a few simple lifestyle changes may lead to a significant payoff. Why not start today?
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