Growing older should never present a barrier to having a healthy heart. In fact, as we age, taking care of our cardiovascular health becomes all the more essential. Our hearts see us through the ups and downs of life. Without a strong, healthy heart, we cannot function optimally, and our lives significantly decline. 

Although the heart is a resident muscle, it still requires consistent care and attention. Fortunately, seniors who take a proactive approach to pursuing a healthy lifestyle can significantly improve their cardiovascular health and enjoy a higher quality of life. If you’re unsure where to start when it comes to caring for your heart, below are five habits for a healthy heart. 

Pursue Regular Exercise 

Staying active and pursuing regular exercise is the first heart-healthy habit that sets the foundation for a strong cardiovascular system. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that older adults pursue at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. If it’s been a while since you’ve exercised, develop a plan with your healthcare provider. Then, find exercises that excite you so that you don’t lose interest over time. Low-impact exercises, such as walking, swimming, or yoga, offer great cardiovascular benefits without putting too much strain on the heart or body. 

Eat a Balanced Diet 

The second heart-healthy habit is to eat a balanced diet. A balanced diet can help seniors manage their weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and overall heart function. Fill up on whole foods that are rich in nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Limit the amount of processed foods you allow in your diet. Processed foods generally contain excess salt, added sugar, and saturated fat and can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. 

Manage Stress 

Another heart-healthy habit is to manage stress. Growing older can cause seniors to experience an array of stress, from financial worries and health concerns to the stress of isolation and fear of dependence. Seniors should look for ways to manage their stress in order to avoid overstraining their cardiovascular systems. Deep breathing exercises, meditation, and guided imagery are practical relaxation techniques seniors can use to manage their stress. Other stress management techniques include engaging in hobbies, spending time with family and friends, and going for a peaceful walk. 

Schedule Regular Check-Ups 

In addition to pursuing regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and managing stress, seniors need to schedule regular check-ups in order to maintain a healthy heart. Regular check-ups are important for monitoring blood pressure, checking cholesterol levels, and assessing other cardiovascular indicators that may lead to early detection of potential heart disease. Schedule an annual physical exam with your healthcare provider and follow their recommendations for preventative care. 

Stay Active Socially 

The final heart-healthy habit is to stay active socially. Maintaining social connections offers more than companionship; it’s essential for heart health. Engaging with family and friends not only helps seniors manage and reduce stress but also promotes healthier heart habits. Whether it’s going for a walk with a neighbor, cooking nutritious meals with a group of friends, or participating in a senior fitness class, these shared activities promote healthier lifestyles and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

When it comes to heart health, it’s never too late to start. Every positive change made today paves the way for a healthier heart tomorrow. As you consider habits you can adopt in order to improve your heart health, perhaps it’s time you make the move to a senior living community that offers more care and support. Senior Living Solutions is here to help. We offer free senior living placement assistance to help seniors find their next home. Our mission is to reduce the stress and ease the burden of finding the best senior living options for our clients. Whether you’re interested in independent, assisted living, or home care, we can help save you hours of time and the headache of exploring options that don’t meet your requirements. Schedule your free consultation today by contacting us at 501-650-3013.