Show Your Heart Some Love: Senior Heart Health Tips

There’s a lot of talk about hearts this month: chocolate hearts, candy hearts - and of course, your own heart. In addition to a celebration of love on Valentine's Day, February is also American Heart Month.

Like breathing, we often take our heart’s hard work for granted. Give yourself and your loved ones the ultimate gift of health this month by showing your heart a little love every single day. Although mature hearts face increased risks of disease and malfunction, with easy, daily actions, we can keep our hearts beating healthy and strong for years to come.

Try some of these senior heart health tips from the American Heart Association and the Center for Disease Control that will help keep your heart healthy all year round.

 Talk to Your Doctor

The first step to better senior heart health is to talk to your doctor about your risk factors and concerns. Your doctor can honestly assess where your health health is right now, and with regular check-ups, he or she can help you set and keep realistic goals to keep your heart pumping.

Eat the Rainbow

A well balance diet is key to keeping your body happy and healthy. Diets that are high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in sodium have been shown to help manage high blood pressure and bad cholesterol - two major risk factors for heart disease. An easy way to check that your diet is well-balanced without reading through every single nutrition label is to think about eating the rainbow. If your plates are full of naturally colorful foods, including a variety of fruits and vegetables at every meal, then chances are you’re eating well. Check out these healthy eating tips for seniors for more information and inspiration!

Get Active Every Day

Living an active lifestyle not only increases your heart health, but has also been shown to increase your happiness by releasing feel-good endorphins into your system. Make it a daily routine to do something active every day. And don’t worry about getting bored with your workouts - the more varied physical activities, the better for increasing full-body strength! Try going for a walk around the neighborhood, doing some simple seated exercises, or even cleaning your house for an easy workout with an immediate and tangible reward.

Lose Weight

One of the simplest yet most difficult goals we can accomplish for heart health is to shed extra pounds. Carrying around excess weight puts stress on the body and makes the heart work harder. Losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight, as little as 10 pounds for a 200-pound person, has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Even if you don’t see immediate results from diet and exercise, keep up the work and remember that exercise and a healthy diet are good for you even if it takes time to see changes.

Set Goals - And Keep Them!

Making changes to your daily routine can be hard at first. Keep up your motivation by tracking your goals with the help of a progress sheet, such as this one from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. By keeping your end goal in sight and seeing how your daily actions add up over the long-term, you’ll keep moving in the right direction.

If you or your loved one need assistance to remain happy and healthy at home, American In-Home Care refers qualified and compassionate care providers that can help with a variety of daily activities, including meal preparation, diet monitoring, and exercise routines. Call today to schedule your free in-home consultation with a local Client Care Liaison who will help you determine which care options are right for you and your family.