February is American Heart Month, a month dedicated to improving and spreading information on cardiovascular health. Over 650,000 Americans die every year from heart disease, which is about one death every 50 seconds. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in America almost every year.
Heart health is incredibly important for everyone, regardless of age, race, or gender. There are three risk factors that commonly lead to heart disease: high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and smoking. Taking responsibility for these three conditions can lower your chances for developing heart disease.
Here are some easy ways to improve your heart health:
Take a short, 10-minute walk around the neighborhood or find other ways to safely get your heart pumping
2) Quit Smoking/Vaping
Studies show that smoking can increase the amount of plaque in your blood stream, which can lead to clogging. This clogging can lead to Coronary Heart disease and the blockages can lead to heart attacks.
3) Lose Weight
The heart is a muscle that is constantly pumping blood around your body. When a person is overweight, the heart must work overtime to pump the blood around, which leads to high blood pressure. Losing weight can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease.
4) Eat Heart-healthy Foods
Start your day off with a healthy, balanced breakfast including whole grains and some fruit. Add vegetables into your diet to get some healthy fats. Another way to get healthy fats is by trading red meat for fish at least once a week.
Thankfully, a healthy amount of chocolate has been shown to increase good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol.
6) Don’t Overeat
Cut out soda and eat less sodium
7) Don’t Stress
When you stress you elevate your heart rate, which can lead to high blood pressure. Take a moment, relax, and breathe.
8) Visit Your Doctor to Get Your Levels Checked
Checking cholesterol is difficult to do by yourself, going to your doctor and getting a blood test is the easiest way to do it. While you’re there, make sure that you get your blood pressure checked too. Ask your doctor for advice that fits your lifestyle and how you can improve your heart health.
Some of these can be challenging for seniors to accomplish on their own, which is why having a caregiver assist seniors through these steps can be very beneficial.
Caregivers can walk and encourage exercise with seniors. Meal preparation is a helpful task that caregivers can assist with and add healthy foods into seniors’ diets to promote heart health. Stress is sometimes unavoidable, but caregivers can alleviate some stress on the senior and their loved ones by providing incredible care and being present with the senior. Caregivers are able to drive seniors to their doctors’ appointments to get their heart checked out.
Together, by taking our heart health into careful care, we can reduce our risks for developing heart disease.