As we grow older, it becomes paramount to be aware of our heart health. Heart disease affects many of us as we get older, but there are many ways to combat it and improve your cardiovascular health. Consider implementing some of these ideas into your daily routine to prevent or manage heart problems.
The food we eat is a powerful factor in our overall health, and our heart health is no exception. Choose foods in their most whole, natural forms to gain the most benefits.
Fish is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower blood pressure and put less strain on the heart. Aim for one or two servings of fish per week.
The high amount of soluble fiber in oatmeal helps lower cholesterol. Soluble fiber soaks up cholesterol during the digestive process, eliminating it from the body and preventing it from being absorbed into the blood stream. When shopping for oatmeal, select whole grain oats over packaged instant oatmeal, which contains added sugar.
Citrus fruits are full of nutritional value. Recently, a study by the American Heart Association found that eating citrus may lower the risk of ischemic strokes.
Dark chocolate is a healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth while also lessening the chances of strokes and nonfatal heart attacks. Dark chocolate contains polyphenols, which can reduce the risk of blood clotting and raises in blood pressure. However, these health benefits are only found in chocolate containing more than 60% cocoa, so be sure to avoid the high levels of sugar in milk chocolates.
Treat all Contributing Health Problems
High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and angina all create an increased risk of heart disease. If you are affected by any of these conditions, managing them will be the first step in preventing heart problems.
Make sure to get regular checkups, and be proactive about your health in general. Stay in communication with your doctor and make sure to stay up on any medication or necessary procedures. Treating the health problems which contribute to heart disease will help stop problems from occurring in the future.
Exercise doesn't just brighten your day; it supports your heart health by strengthening your entire cardiovascular system. Everyone's needs are different, so consider what activities are appropriate for your medical needs and fitness level as you incorporate exercise into your routine. A good goal is thirty minutes a day, up to six days a week. Discuss your options with your doctor to create a plan that works for you.
Avoid Unhealthy Habits
Consider reducing your alcohol intake, since excessive consumption can exacerbate health conditions that contribute to heart disease. Quit smoking and avoid all tobacco products. Avoiding toxic habits will keep your heart strong.
Heart disease is a risk for aging adults, but it doesn't have to be a certainty. Even a few simple lifestyle adjustments can significantly strengthen your heart and prevent future problems.