February is American Heart Health month, but heart health should be top of mind year-round. This is especially true as we age. Aging causes natural changes to our heart. It can’t beat as fast during exercise, large arteries stiffen, and chambers of your heart may increase in size. To combat the natural aging, here’s a checklist of things that can help maintain a healthy heart.
- Manage your Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fatty substance carried in your blood. You may not know this, but your body requires cholesterol. You run the risk of stroke or heart attack though when there’s too much in your blood stream. A diet low in saturated fats, high in soluble fiber and plenty of fruits and vegetables can help manage your cholesterol.
- Mental Health
Stress and anxiety can have a huge impact on your heart health. This is especially true if you are dealing with depression. Combat stress and possible depression by staying positive, being more active, interacting with friends and family and have a support system. This, along with keeping your blood pressure in check, can help lower the risk of heart disease.
- Stay Active
Don’t sit for long periods. Get off the couch and be active. It’s never too late to be active. Regular, moderate physical activity is great for the heart. Things such as walking the dog or gardening can make a big difference.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
Talk with your doctor your figure out your target weight, body mass index number and waist measurement. Develop a diet that allows you to stay at or near those numbers. Eating lean proteins, fruits and vegetables and portion control will help. Also, look for foods that aren’t processed, have less salt and healthier fats. Just remember, you can have a cheat day on special occasions. It helps with mental health!
Clarendale of Algonquin
Discover a New World of Senior Living
2001 W. Algonquin Rd, Algonquin, IL 60102