5 Heart Healthy Habits For Seniors during American Heart Month in February -#ourhearts are healthier together
No matter what age you are, you can keep your heart healthy, it does take some effort and possibly changes in your every day routine such as, eating a heart healthy diet and increasing your activity level. Here are some suggestions to keep your parent or Senior loved one’s heart in great shape!
- Eat Healthy – As we age our bodies change, less muscle mass, our bodies burn fewer calories so it is important to maintain a healthy weight. Eating a heart healthy diet is essential in ones overall health and wellbeing. Eating less fatty meats and incorporating more Omega-3s such as salmon or trout. Eggs are also rich foods that offer high protein and vitamins and minerals. Try to get at least five servings of vegetables and fruits per day. Fruit and vegetables are low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals and fiber. Dairy or milk products provide Vitamin D and calcium, as well as cheese, soy, rice and almonds. Fiber rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, whole-grains and nuts will help lower blood cholesterol.
- Information on Medication Management – In order to avoid possible complications with medications, schedule frequent Physician visits to review medications. Make sure your taking your medications as prescribed by your Physician. Presort pills in daily reminder boxes if you take multiple medications. Know which medications you can take together, and which medications you can’t, or which medications need to be taken with foods or liquids. Watch for side effects. Dispose of old drugs that are expired or discontinued medications by your Physician.
- Plenty of Sleep – Sleep can have many affects on seniors that most might ignore. Poor quality sleep may cause memory loss or forgetfulness. Feeling groggy or less alert might lead to increased falls. Consuming too much caffeine throughout the day can affect sleep quality. Maintaining a regular bed and wake time schedule will help your body get used to a pattern. Aiming for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Proper sleep helps keep your mind alert, preserves energy levels and helps you live life to the fullest.
- Stay Mentally Healthy – Many Seniors deal with mental stress, depression and anxiety, worsening their overall quality of life. Connecting with others as often as possible helps with isolation and loneliness. Staying in touch with family and friends which can also help create opportunities for Seniors to interact with others in their neighborhood or Assisted Living communities. Exercise can also improve mental health and might be just as affective as medications. Relieving stress, can also benefit psychological health. Getting fresh air, and a change of scenery can help boost ones mood and can be as simple as taking a walk outside. Mental exercises such as puzzles, reading and brain exercises are also important to stay mentally healthy.
- Vision Changes – Annual eye checkup is a simple, low-stress way to keep tabs on your eyes and overall health. What Seniors do not realize is that an eye exam can also uncover symptoms of significant health problems.