Keeping your heart healthy is super important, especially for grandparents and older friends. Here are five simple tips for seniors who want to keep their hearts strong and healthy.
1. Let’s Get Moving
Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, along with muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week.
It’s really good for your heart when you move around. You don’t have to run really fast or lift heavy things—just walking around the block, dancing to your favorite songs, or playing catch can be perfect. Always chat with your doctor before you start something new, just to be safe.
Sometimes, moving around a lot can be hard. That’s okay! You can still exercise while sitting down. Moving your arms and legs, even while sitting, can keep the blood pumping and make your muscles strong without being too hard on your heart. If you don’t have any light weights, you can use cans or water bottles instead.
2. Foods for the Heart
A heart-healthy diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Eating too much butter, salt, and fat can contribute to heart disease. To reduce unhealthy fats, try cutting back on them and instead focus on including omega-3 fatty acids by eating fish like salmon or trout twice a week.
It’s also a good idea to pay attention to how much you eat—having just enough to feel full and happy is the way to go. Using a smaller plate, measuring cups, and portion control can help with this, so you can enjoy your food without eating too much.
When you go grocery shopping, be a detective and look at what’s in the food. Get into the habit of reading nutritional labels. Look for products that are low in sodium and free of trans fats, which can be very harmful to heart health.
Being stressed or worried all the time isn’t good for your heart. Chronic stress has been proven to negatively affect your heart health. Doing things like meditation, taking deep breaths, and yoga or tai chi can help you reduce your stress levels and produce calming effects.
Spending time with people you love makes you feel good and can actually be great for your heart. Joining clubs or engaging in community activities can also provide emotional support and help reduce stress.
4. Know Your Health Numbers
High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart disease, especially in seniors. Blood pressure is like a balloon inside your body—if there’s too much air, it’s not good, so regular monitoring is critical. Many pharmacies and stores offer free screenings, and home monitoring devices are also widely available.
Make sure to schedule regular check-ups with your healthcare provider. These appointments are key opportunities to evaluate heart health, manage existing conditions, discuss concerns, and adjust treatments.
There are some health numbers like cholesterol, sugar level, and your weight that tell a lot about how your heart is doing. Keep an eye on these to make sure you’re on the right track.
5. Quit Smoking, Limit Drinking
Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. It’s never too late to quit. There are a lot of resources available, from local support groups and phone lines to medications and therapies prescribed by your doctor.
If you enjoy having a drink, that’s fine—just make sure you don’t have too much. Set a limit and stick to it to keep your heart happy.
Keep it Up
Taking care of your heart doesn’t mean you have to change everything overnight. Just do small things every day that will add up to a big happy heart. So go ahead and be the boss of your heart health. With these tips, you’ll be on your way to a wonderful life full of energy.
Remember—move around, eat tasty and healthy food, relax, check on your health, and stay away from smoking and too much alcohol. These five tips are your treasure map to a treasure chest of heart health and lots of joy in your golden years!
Ask your health professional before implementing any big changes.
It’s your life. Live it your way.
WelbeHealth provides full-service healthcare and personalized support to help you age well at home and in your community. Our Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) meets the changing needs of seniors, often at no cost. To see if you qualify, visit: welbehealth.com/contact