Heart disease still accounts for around a quarter of all deaths in the United States. It is generally caused by blood vessels becoming narrower or blocked, reducing the effectiveness of delivering blood to the heart. Certain factors can lead to an increased risk of developing heart disease, including:
- Excessive alcohol intake
But, since we know these risk factors and other things about the disease, we also have a good foundation of knowledge when it comes to reducing the risk of developing heart disease. Here are a few key ways you can look after your heart.
Regular exercise helps to strengthen your heart and make it more efficient at pumping blood around your body. Just getting up and walking every day can help to maintain health and fitness. Swimming and water aerobics are especially good for seniors as they don’t put as much strain on the joints as other forms of physical activity.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help to keep your heart healthy. Try to avoid foods that are high in salt or saturated fats, as these contribute to high blood pressure and an increase in cholesterol levels, respectively. Avoid too much sugar, as well, as this can result in the development of diabetes. Get lots of fruit and vegetable in your diet as well as lean protein and whole grains.
Smoking contributes to arteries becoming clogged, which greatly increases the risk of developing heart disease and other health problems. If you do smoke, there are plenty of tips and resources available to help you quit.
Reduce alcohol intake
Excessive alcohol can result in the heart muscles weakening, which also decreases its efficiency. It can also lead to weight gain, another contributor to the development of heart disease. If you do drink alcohol, make sure to stick to the recommended limits of less than 14 units per week to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Stress is a major cause of a number of health problems. It can lead to high blood pressure, which is a leading factor for heart problems. Find ways to manage your stress levels through activities such as meditation and regular exercise.
If you need help managing the health and wellbeing of yourself or an elderly family member, then get in touch with Home Loving Senior Care for our assistance. We help those in need of care around Winston Salem, Greensboro, High Point, and Kernersville, NC.