Heart health is a crucial component to maintaining physical wellness as people age. Adults become more vulnerable to heart disease the older they get. The American Heart Foundation noted that 1 in 3 Americans die from heart disease, the majority of whom are over 50 years old. Seniors should get in the habit of performing activities that improve their heart health.
The American Heart Association recommended at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week to help enhance cardiovascular health and avoid heart problems that could lead to disease. The association also explained that to see the benefits of physical activity, people must work out for at least 30 minutes a day, which can include breaking up the active periods into multiple 10-minute segments if this makes it more achievable.
Although getting in the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week is essential, eating healthy and keeping an eye on factors like blood pressure and cholesterol are also important to avoiding heart-related illnesses. To successfully meet these goals, it can help to get creative and engage in hobbies.
Here are three things that seniors can do every week to boost their heart health:
1. Choose a favorite hobby and get moving
The AHA noted that even moderate exercise helps to improve blood circulation and assist people in controlling their weight. Seniors shouldn’t think that because they are unable to jog for 30 minutes every day that they can’t improve their heart health. They can choose an activity that they like to do, such as gardening or walking the dog, and take 30 minutes to do it at least five days a week. Walking and using muscles prevents bone loss, increases energy levels and makes it easier to sleep at night. according to the AHA. Sticking to a schedule that includes these activities will work to prevent common risk factors of heart disease like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels as well.
Setting goals will help people to remain motivated, as it can be challenging for seniors to continue performing these hobbies on a regular basis if they get tired quickly or feel sore after. Older adults should check with their physicians before continuing first, but it’s important to remember that everyone starts somewhere and that being active gets easier over time.
2. Make a smart shopping list
Seniors should get into the habit of carefully selecting the foods they consume, as good senior nutrition is vital to healthy hearts. According to the Mayo Clinic, older adults should have their eyes peeled for meals that are high in vitamins and low in calories, as fatty foods will increase cholesterol and make maintaining a healthy weight harder. To avoid temptation at the grocery store, older adults can create a weekly shopping list and make a point to purchase only these items at the store. They can also establish different sections on their shopping list – including one for fruit, vegetables, meats and whole grains – to make sure they’re sticking to a balanced diet.
3. Monitor blood pressure
A 2013 study by the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that patients who use telemonitors to keep track of their blood pressure have more success at keeping their blood pressure at healthy levels than patients who don’t. With several effective mobile applications and mobile devices available that make monitoring blood pressure easy and convenient, seniors can now keep a closer eye on their blood pressure and talk to their doctors when it gets too high. Adults can also check their results at the end of every day to see if there are certain events that cause their levels to spike and try to avoid these incidents in the future or ask their physicians for stress-relief tips.
Now is a great time to get moving; for the health of it!