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February is American Heart Month, a time when all people can focus on their cardiovascular health.

American Heart Month is a wonderful opportunity to focus our attention on ways to promote and maintain heart health. Since 1963, American Heart Month has been celebrated as a way to educate Americans to join the battle against heart disease.

Facts About Heart Disease

Every year, one in four people will die from heart disease. Heart disease can strike anyone, but certain individuals may be more at risk than others. Some of the most common risk factors for heart disease include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Poor diet
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

Heart-Healthy Habits For Seniors

The American Heart Association provides Heart Healthy Tips for Seniors for improving your heart health. It’s possible to reduce the risk for heart disease by making certain lifestyle changes, and managing medical conditions sooner rather than later.
You can keep your heart healthy no matter how old you are, by making changes in your everyday habits. Here’s how to get started:

  • Get enough exercise. Physical activity is one of the best ways to improve heart health. The American Heart Association recommends that individuals perform at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise.
  • Quit smoking. If you’re still smoking, it’s time to quit. There are many benefits to living a smoke-free life including improved circulation, reduced risk of certain types of cancer, and feeling more energetic.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet. Load up on fresh fruits and vegetables while limiting saturated fats, salt, and foods containing cholesterol, like fatty meats. A Mediterranean diet focuses on eating a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and fish and seafood instead of red and processed meats.
  • Watch your numbers. Get regular check-ups to monitor health conditions that affect the heart, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, and make sure they’re under control with medication.
  • Reduce your alcohol intake. Excess alcohol consumption can worsen health conditions that contribute to heart disease, such as high blood pressure, arrhythmias, and high cholesterol levels.
  • Watch your weight. To help prevent heart disease, maintain a healthy body weight for your size. Too many pounds can add up to increased heart disease risk.
  • Get better sleep. It’s critical for seniors (and everyone) to have a good night’s sleep. Most experts say that seniors should sleep between seven and nine hours each night. Sleep is beneficial for brain functionality, metabolism, immune functionality and emotional well-being.
  • Reduce stress factors. According studies, stress can compound many heart disease risks that older adults already face, like high blood pressure. Take the time to find healthy outlets to relieve stress and lower your risk of heart disease.

 

How To Reduce Your Heart Disease Risks

  1. Lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels;
  2. Keep diabetes under control;
  3. Take prescribed medications that can help treat the various aspects of heart disease; nitrates, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers may be recommended. Your doctor may also suggest taking a daily aspirin (Please consult your doctor)to help reduce the risk of a heart attack;

American Heart Month should be used as a reminder to take care of your body and your health as you age, to reduce your risk of developing heart disease and other health conditions. It’s never too late to start living a healthy lifestyle and reducing your heart disease risks!

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