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Heart Healthy Living Tips for Seniors

October 14, 2015

Although you can’t control many of the symptoms of aging, you can work to mitigate your own health as you get older. For many of us, a healthy way of life starts at the heart. Taking care of your heart not only helps prevent or control cardiovascular disease, but a healthy heart is also key to reducing your risk of several health problems associated with getting older.

 As always, consult with your doctor before making any serious changes to your daily regimen, exercise or nutrition to find what works best for your situation. Take advantage of their knowledge, and discuss your health with the professionals. With their guidance, you may just find that making your heart’s health a priority is the secret to enjoying your golden years.

Be Good to Yourself

Eating healthy goes a long way toward taking care of your heart. Vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein are good for your overall health as well as your cardiovascular system. Instead of using salt, try incorporating different spices and herbs into your meals to add flavor without the excess sodium.

Whether you’re already showing symptoms of heart disease or just looking to improve your own wellbeing, becoming active is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Even as little as 30 minutes of exercise a day can help manage your blood pressure, weight and improve your heart’s health. It doesn’t have to be walking; you could do heavy gardening or housework. The idea is to get your heart rate up to strengthen the muscles. If you feel dizzy or get short of breath, stop and talk to your healthcare professional about other ways to safely increase your activity level.

Your daily routine may have more of an effect on your heart’s health than you think. Added stress to your life can compound many heart disease risks, so find a healthy outlet to relax and unwind, whether it be socializing with family and friends or just doing the things that you enjoy.

Work With Your Doctor

Annual physicals with your doctor become more important as you age, helping you stay on top of any potential health issues you need to address in order to make the most out of your life. Know your numbers, such as your cholesterol level, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels if you have or are prone to diabetes. Be proactive with your health by asking your doctor what other tests are recommended for your particular healthcare needs and family history. Stay up to date with immunizations, especially for the flu and pneumonia. Get regular dental checkups. Gum disease is associated with heart disease, believe it or not, because it lets infections into your system. Your dentist is an important part of your healthcare team.

Know the Symptoms

Knowing what to look for as it relates to cardiovascular disease is essential to maintaining a healthy way of life and a happy heart. Pain in the chest is something that you shouldn’t ignore, but many people don’t actually experience chest pain before a heart attack. You may have a hard time catching your breath or feel like you have an irregular heartbeat. There might be strange pains in your back, shoulders, or neck, or even in your left arm. Some people feel nauseous or have indigestion-like pains. If you experience these symptoms, get to the emergency room to be checked out. Don’t worry about being embarrassed if you are wrong. It’s better to be embarrassed than spend weeks in a hospital bed recovering.

Provide your heart, body and mind with the happiness it deserves by moving into one of the senior living communities from Concordia Lutheran Ministries. Each one of our locations offers residents a worry-free lifestyle, complete with all the personal care benefits you need to help keep your heart healthy and happy. Call us today to arrange a tour of one of our beautiful senior living communities, and discover how Concordia can help you make the most out of your golden years.

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