Your overall heart health can greatly influence your quality of life, especially as you grow older. That’s why it’s important to take action now to prevent or manage heart disease. At Friendship Village of Bloomington, a senior living community in Bloomington, Minnesota, we take heart health seriously and aim to provide the ideal conditions for residents to live their best lives.
Continue reading to learn five of our top heart-healthy tips for seniors.
1. Get Regular Exercise
Whether you’re an experienced exerciser or someone who hasn’t been active in a while, there’s no better time than now to make physical activity* a regular part of your life.
The CDC recommends that adults aged 65 or older get at least:
- 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking. Or 75 minutes a week of more vigorous-intensity activity, such as hiking, jogging or running.
- 2 days a week of activities that strengthen muscles, such as lifting weights or bodyweight exercises (you can modify these exercises based on your fitness level).
- 3 days a week of activities to improve balance, such as yoga or balance exercises.
At Friendship Village of Bloomington, we prioritize resident wellness. Our aerobics studio, fitness center, walking paths, golf simulator and 9-hole putting green make fitness fun.
*Disclaimer: Always speak with a doctor before starting any new exercise routine. They can help determine what lifestyle changes are best for you based on your current health status.
2. Follow a Heart-Healthy Diet
What you eat can directly impact your cardiovascular health. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, fish high in omega-3s and whole-grain foods are all part of a balanced heart-healthy diet. You should also consider freshness, portion size and variety when seeking out healthy food options.
While you don’t have to follow a rigid diet plan ” the best diet** is one you can actually stick with ” there is some scientific evidence that supports the Mediterranean diet. That is because it encourages eating patterns that are lower in animal fat and rich in plant-based proteins.
**Disclaimer: Always speak with a doctor before starting any new diet. They can help determine what lifestyle changes are best for you based on your current health status.
3. Build Better Sleep Habits
The American Heart Association recently added sleep to its eight key measures for improving and maintaining cardiovascular health. Just like regular physical activity and healthy eating, research has shown that getting adequate sleep ” 7 to 9 hours for older adults ” improves brain function and reduces the risk for chronic diseases that can impact your overall quality of life.
That said, insomnia is the most common sleep problem in adults aged 60 and older. So getting a good night’s rest can be challenging for many older adults.
In order to improve your quality of sleep, you should try to:
- Follow a regular sleep schedule.
- Avoid electronics in the bedroom.
- Use low lighting in the evenings as you prepare for bed.
- Stay away from caffeine later in the day.
- Avoid using alcohol as a sleep aid.
The National Institute on Aging’s website provides even more information about how to get a good night’s sleep. If your sleep problems persist, you may want to consult a doctor.
4. Quit the Nicotine Products
Quitting smoking is one of the most meaningful lifestyle changes you can make for better cardiovascular health. The use of inhaled nicotine delivery products, which includes cigarettes, e-cigarettes and vaping, is the cause of about a third of all deaths from heart disease.
We realize quitting nicotine can be a challenge for long-time smokers, but also know that you are not alone. Consider consulting a physician for advice on ways to kick the habit for good.
5. Manage Chronic Conditions
While heart disease impacts people of all ages, those aged 65 and older are more likely to have a heart attack, a stroke or develop coronary heart disease. Older adults also more commonly have chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood sugar.
It’s important for older adults to establish a relationship with a primary care physician and get regular checkups on a schedule that best matches their health status. Your physician will also conduct screening tests related to cardiovascular health based on your age and risk factors.
The American Heart Association identifies tests that check your blood pressure, cholesterol, body weight and blood sugar as key screening tests for monitoring cardiovascular health. Your doctor can also prescribe the best course of treatment for managing chronic conditions.
Focus On Your Health at Friendship Village of Bloomington
At Friendship Village of Bloomington, we support the overall health and happiness of our residents. If you’re someone looking to change up your lifestyle and develop healthier habits, then moving into an independent or assisted living community might be the right choice for you.
Contact us or complete the form below to learn more about our community.