February is National Heart Month in the U.S., which means that there’s no time like the present for giving some extra attention to the extraordinary muscle which powers all of your daily activities, and which pumps blood throughout the body to supply life-giving oxygen and nutrients to all essential organs and tissues. Caregivers for the elderly recognize the importance of good heart health, and in Pontotoc and elsewhere. They encourage all seniors to do everything possible to improve heart health, so a longer life can be enjoyed, as well as better quality of life. Here are some of the best ways for seniors to improve their heart health, and to maintain good health in general.
Get Plenty Of Exercise
The importance of exercise can hardly be overstated because it staves off a number of bad health situations, and rigorous exercise can actually strengthen the heart, which is, after all, a muscle which can be strengthened by exercise. If you can get in at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week, you’ll be doing your heart a big favor, and your mental attitude will be greatly improved as well. The endorphins which are released when exercising routinely make you feel much better, and contribute to your state of well-being.
If you do smoke, you need to start a program right away where you wean yourself away from cigarettes, and you need to set a goal for eliminating them from your life altogether. There are endless documentation and research which point up all the harm caused to your heart and other body parts by smoking, so take this to heart and do yourself a favor. There is no good whatsoever that comes from smoking, but there are lots of ways that smoking can harm your body, and probably shorten your life as well. If you need help with quitting, consult with your doctor, and he/she will have several suggestions for ways that you can adopt to quit the smoking habit.
Have A Heart-Healthy Diet
This will not come as a revelation to you, but your heart will be much better off when you have established a diet which is rich in fruits and vegetables, and low in fats and sugary sweets. You should also cut way down on fatty meats, and limit the amount of salt which you have in your diet, because all these things impact the heart negatively, and can eventually cause serious health problems. If you don’t take in enough fruits and vegetables, ask your doctor about some supplements which you can take to get the antioxidants and nutrients that would normally be provided by produce.
Check Your Vital Signs
Don’t wait for the next trip to your doctor’s office, and take control of your health by monitoring your vital signs regularly at home. There are a number of body processes and situations which can impact your heart, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, and all these things need to be kept under control, so they don’t harm your heart. In addition to monitoring things at home as much as possible, make sure to keep your doctor appointments, so those same vital signs can be monitored by a professional.
Reduce Alcohol Intake
Excessive intake of alcohol can worsen any condition which is already harming your heart. For instance, high blood pressure, mild heart disease, high cholesterol, and any kind of arrhythmia can all be exacerbated by frequent and/or excess consumption of alcohol. Limit yourself to no more than one or two drinks per day, and avoid bingeing at all costs.
Reduce stresses in your life
You’ve probably heard that stress is a killer, and one of the reasons that it is a killer is because it can impact your heart in a major way. Stress can worsen any heart disease you might already have, and it can trigger heart disease in an elderly person who didn’t have it before. It can also push you toward an unhealthy lifestyle which can worsen any problems your heart has. Find healthy ways to reduce stress in your life, for instance through regular exercise, and you may even want to engage in such counter-acting activities as yoga or meditation to minimize stress.
Keep your weight down
Gaining weight is one of the worst things you can do as you get older because it adds a great deal of stress to your heart, and it makes it much harder to engage in regular exercise. To avoid triggering heart disease, maintain a healthy weight which is as close as possible to the ideal weight for your body size. Your doctor can tell you how much you should weigh for your frame, and you should strive to reach that weight so that you can avoid the complications and the risk of developing heart disease.