This February we are all matters heart, from Valentine’s Day to the American Heart Month, it is only fair to have this article. However, today’s perspective will focus on the physical aspect of the heart concerning aging. Today we share tips on how to age your heart healthy.
As we age, the heart, just like any other muscle tends to weaken over time, especially for sedentary individuals. With age comes less activity and this could result in the heart becoming weaker. Heart disease has long been associated with older adults, but as the CDC reports, even younger adults are experiencing heart complications.
Heart Disease Risk Factors
High Blood Pressure
Americans of all ages have blood pressure including older adults. Most of the population with high blood pressure does not have it under control. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is one of the most significant risks for heart disease and other conditions like strokes.
Lack of Physical Activity
Engaging in physical activity aids in keeping your blood vessels and heart healthy. Inactive individuals are at a higher risk of heart disease because the heart muscles tend to weaken. Older adults can engage in simple physical activities like walking, gardening, or cardiovascular exercises.
Poor Lifestyle Choices
Eating and drinking the wrong foods contributes to heart disease. Eating foods high in trans and saturated fats, sodium, and added sugar can increase the risk of heart disease. Smoking and excessive drinking can also weaken the heart and impede its functions.
Overweight individuals are at a higher risk of heart disease due to high cholesterol levels. In addition to their inactivity and poor lifestyle choices, their risk of heart disease the extra weight contributes to heart disease.
Sugar build-up in the body from diabetes can damage the blood vessels and nerves controlling the heart muscle. People with diabetes risk heart disease, therefore they need to ensure that their insulin levels are always at a normal level.
How to Age Your Heart Healthy
Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Avoid smoking and excessive drinking. For individuals struggling to quit smoking, it is important to seek support and accountability to help them quit. It is also important to eat better foods that will boost your immunity and strengthen your heart.
Incorporate Physical Activity
Get moving. The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes weekly. For individuals with underlying conditions, it is important to consult with your doctor before starting a physical activity routine. Consider working with a trainer and a dietitian to improve your overall health and well-being.
Manage Underlying Conditions
Work with your healthcare team to manage underlying conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Take your medication as prescribed and at the prescribed time as well. Seniors living alone can opt for a caregiver to assist with medication management.
Get Regular Check-Ups
Even healthy individuals require to get regular checkups as some diseases silently develop in our bodies. Consider an annual physical with your physician to ensure that your heart is healthy and at no risk of heart disease or any other health conditions that contribute to heart complications.
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