As seniors, it’s time for us to take charge of our health. The combination of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and uncontrolled high blood pressure has contributed significantly to the large number of heart disease cases that could have been prevented if healthier lifestyle choices were made.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2020-21 National Health Survey, the prevalence of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) increases rapidly with age, affecting around 1 in 9 (11%) of Australian adults aged 75 and over.
Don’t be a statistic: take better care of your heart by following our recommendations.
Why it’s important to keep your heart in good shape
Heart health is of utmost importance – not just for seniors, but for everybody. Firstly, maintaining good heart health helps in preventing cardiovascular diseases, which become more prevalent with age. Conditions such as heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes can be significantly reduced by prioritising heart health.
Secondly, a healthy heart enhances overall well-being. It enables you to maintain an active and independent lifestyle, engage in daily activities, pursue hobbies, and spend quality time with loved ones without limitations. By keeping your heart in good shape, you can enjoy a greater sense of physical well-being and vitality.
Furthermore, heart health is closely linked to the well-being of other organs and systems in the body. By taking care of your heart, you can reduce the risk of developing other health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, and cognitive decline. A healthy heart ensures that your body’s tissues and organs receive an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients, enabling you to function optimally. This often results in increased energy levels, improved mental well-being, and a reduced risk of disability or dependency.
Essential steps for a healthy heart
With all the positives that come from keeping your heart in good shape, it’s little wonder why it’s so important to look after this vital organ. Fortunately, there’s some simple things that you can incorporate into your daily routine to keep your heart healthy.
- Regular physical activity: Engaging in regular exercise is crucial for heart health. Seniors should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week. It can include activities like brisk walking, swimming, cycling, or dancing. Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any exercise program.
- Balanced diet: A heart-healthy diet can help seniors maintain optimal cardiovascular health. Focus on consuming a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins (such as fish, poultry, and legumes), and healthy fats (found in olive oil, nuts, and avocados). Limit the intake of saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Seniors should strive to maintain a healthy weight as excess weight puts additional strain on the heart. A combination of regular physical activity and a balanced diet can help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
- Quit smoking: Tobacco is harmful to the heart and blood vessels. Seniors who smoke should make efforts to quit. There are several resources available, including medications and support programs, to assist in the quitting process.
- Manage stress: Chronic stress can negatively impact heart health. Seniors should identify effective stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, engaging in hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or seeking professional help if needed.
- Get enough sleep: Adequate sleep is essential for heart health. Seniors should aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. Establishing a regular sleep routine, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and avoiding stimulating activities before bedtime can promote better sleep.
- Regular check-ups: Seniors should visit their healthcare provider regularly for routine check-ups. These visits allow for the monitoring of blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and overall cardiovascular health. Follow any recommended treatments or medications prescribed by the healthcare professional.
- Limit alcohol intake: Excessive alcohol consumption can contribute to heart problems. Seniors should adhere to recommended guidelines for alcohol consumption, which is generally up to 14 units per week for both men and women, spread across multiple days.
Create a lifestyle your heart will love at Centennial Living
Why not join a community that values all aspects of your health, from the physical to the mental and emotional? For seniors living in Melbourne, it’s never been easier to do just that. At Centennial Living, our residents enjoy gentle group exercise classes, community gardening, table tennis, and so many more fun activities that are designed to keep your heart healthy.
Want to enjoy a rewarding lifestyle? Be sure to visit our retirement villages in Melbourne to learn about independent living.