February brings American Heart Month, a time to reflect on behaviors that impact our heart health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming 600,000 lives each year. Luckily, we can significantly reduce our risk for heart disease and stroke by making healthy lifestyle choices. Here are some tips to promote healthy hearts:
- Exercise regularly. For adults aged 65 and older, the CDC recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, five days a week. This could be as simple as a brisk walk, housework or gardening when the weather gets warmer. Fitness classes such as yoga, dance or aerobics can be a fun, social way to stay healthy. Check the Castle Rock or Parker Senior Centers for opportunities, and be sure to consult your doctor about which kind of exercises are most appropriate for you.
- Eat a balanced diet. This includes plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains. Limit your intake of sodium, trans fat and saturated fat, which contribute to high cholesterol.
- Manage blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. When left unchecked, diabetes as well as high cholesterol and blood pressure levels can lead to heart disease. Maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise routines will help you keep these issues under control. If you have diabetes, be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations for managing it.
- Get regular a physical. Physicals are particularly important for managing cholesterol and blood pressure levels, as there are usually no visible signs when they get too high. Visiting your doctor annually will help you stay apprised of potential issues and prevent heart problems from developing or progressing.
At Castle Country Assisted Living, we are committed to promoting heart healthy lifestyles for our residents. We host regular fitness classes; serve well-balanced, nutritious meals; and help residents manage their blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and any other health conditions they may have. In recognition of American Heart Month, we encourage you to start being proactive about your heart health, too.