Note: Content on this blog is for informational purposes and should not be mistaken for medical advice. Please consult a physician or other medical professional or specialist for all health matters. Resources used are linked within the post.
Heart disease remains a paramount concern, and leading reason of death, for people aged 65 years and older, according to the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC). It affects 37 percent of men and 26 percent of women 65 and older.
In a national effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes in the United States by 2017, the CDC is encouraging Americans to make blood pressure control their goal. Adults of any age should know their blood pressure, and if it is high focus on controlling their blood pressure through diet, exercise, and in some cases, medication.
We aim to encourage our staff, families and residents to focus on their own heart health with five easy steps to a healthy heart.
Five Easy Steps Towards a Healthy Heart
- Visit your doctor – Getting your blood pressure tested and learning what your blood pressure should be is a great first step to a healthy heart.
- Stop Harmful Behaviors—Unhealthy eating habits and smoking are two of the biggest contributors to heart disease. If you struggle with either of these behaviors, take steps to reduce or quit.
- Increase Physical Activity— To improve overall cardiovascular health the American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise. That is about thirty minutes of aerobic activity at least five days a week. Not sure you can give it that much? Something is better than nothing! Try one of our many exercise classes that we offer throughout the week, you can find them in our activity calendar.
- Improve Diet— A healthful diet of nutrient dense fruits and vegetables will go a long way in improving heart health. Maintaining a healthy weight is essential to heart health. Avoid foods high in sugar and sodium and increase amounts of vegetables and fruits to easily improve your diet.
- Get Good Quality Sleep– Not getting enough sleep or getting too much sleep may put you at risk for heart disease according to a NPR report on a report from the Center for Cohort Studies at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital. Make efforts to get at least six hours of good quality sleep to help reduce your risks.