While February is known for being the month of love thanks to Valentine’s Day, February also marks American Heart Month – a time for all of us to take a look at our heart health and make lifestyle changes to keep it strong.
Having a healthy heart is integral to our overall physical well-being and mental health. According to a report from the American Heart Association, not only is heart disease the leading cause of death in this country, but heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalizations among adults 65 and over. Each year, 1 million patients are newly diagnosed, costing Medicare $17 billion.
Additionally, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, problems related to the vascular system can increase the risk of dementia and other illnesses that impact cognitive performance.
Knowing how important it is to have a strong and healthy heart, we’ve compiled some tips to help you stay in peak shape. Always consult with your healthcare provider before beginning a new diet or exercise regimen, or making any lifestyle changes.
1) Maintain Regular Check-ups
Visiting your healthcare provider at minimum, once per year, ensures your physical health is being properly monitored. Additionally, consulting with your healthcare team to ensure all medications are updated, helps to achieve optimal health.
2) Stay Active
Staying active for 30 minutes a day, or 2.5 hours per week, dramatically reduces the risk of developing heart-related illnesses. Low-impact exercises that elevate the heart rate and improve cardiovascular function include: stretching, walking, swimming, dancing, jogging and strength-training.
3) Keep Stress in Check
According to the Cleveland Clinic, prolonged stress increases the risk of developing heart disease and related conditions, including: high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, damage to the arteries and irregular heart rhythms. Taking time out of the day to engage in stress-relieving activities can eliminate the possibility of developing long-term complications from stress.
4) Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet
Eating a well-balanced diet filled with foods rich in antioxidants and nutrients keeps the heart in peak condition. Additionally, having a nutritious diet lowers the risk of weight-related conditions, which can impact cardiovascular function.
In addition to the tips mentioned here, watch the video below to learn more information about living with Congestive Heart Failure and managing heart conditions.
There is no denying that our chance of developing heart-related conditions grows greater with age. Keep your risk at a minimum, with help from the caregivers at Concordia Lutheran Ministries. Each one of our senior care communities goes above and beyond the standard for healthcare facilities, providing our residents with highly qualified professionals who are dedicated to providing quality care. Schedule a tour of any one of our locations today, and discover how our commitment to caring shows in everything we do.
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