How to Maximize Heart Health & Prevent Disease

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posted by Ted Ryan on February 27, 2014

February is American Heart Month. Valentine’s Day may have passed but there’s no reason to stop thinking about your heart. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, so show yourself some love by learning how you can improve your heart health.

Seniors, and senior caregivers, should be especially mindful of heart health because age is a risk factor for heart disease. Luckily, many issues may be prevented through healthier habits. These guidelines will help keep your heart as healthy as possible.

  1. Work with your health care team. Get a yearly check-up, even if you feel healthy. A doctor, nurse or health care professional can check for conditions that put you at risk, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. They can also suggest appropriate ways to approach the rest of the items on this list.
  2. Eat a healthy diet. Choose low-fat foods and avoid salt. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables and foods high in fiber. Limit alcohol use.
  3. Exercise regularly. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day, even if it’s spread out in 10-minute periods.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases your risk for heart disease. Exercise and healthy eating can be a big help.
  5. Don’t smoke. Smoking greatly increases your risk. It’s never too late to quit.

Making lifestyle changes is tough. Don’t get discouraged. Take one step at a time, knowing that each one makes a difference. Find someone to make the commitment with you – it’s more fun and often more successful.

Always consult your doctor before making lifestyle changes. If you or a loved one need help following any of these guidelines, please contact us. We’d love to help, and an SHC caregiver could be the perfect partner to help fix a healthy meal or provide assistance and encouragement to enjoy a safe exercise routine.

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