Heart health is crucial at any age to maintain the exceptional quality of life you’ve worked hard to achieve. When you hit 65, your risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) and/or stroke increases. 9.6% of adults aged 45 to 64 years reported being diagnosed with CHD, or a stroke, or both compared with 21.7% of adults aged 65 years and older.
However, simple lifestyle changes like the ones below can help lower your risk and increase your cardiac health. Before implementing any changes to your diet or activity levels, however, be sure to speak with your doctor.
Stay Active To Reduce Stress
Physical activity is one of the most important factors to your wellness at any age, and it holds true into your retirement years as well. 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each week is recommended to maintain and improve your cardiac health. “Moderate-intensity” activity is frequently defined as activity that can be done while still holding a conversation in movement, like a brisk walk or light jog. Beyond making your body and heart stronger, regular physical activity can also improve your mood and decrease stress, two things which also have been linked to a healthier lifestyle and better cardiovascular health.
Limit Salt Intake and Increase Water Intake
Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which can be a major contributing factor to poor heart health and cardiac diseases. Limiting your sodium intake and increasing your daily water intake can help lower this risk.
Focus On Building a Heart-Healthy Plate
Beyond limiting sodium intake, building a heart-healthy plate that supports cardiovascular health and overall bodily wellness is another great way to lower your risk of heart disease. But what does a heart-healthy plate look like, exactly?
ChooseMyPlate.Gov suggests filling your plate with lean proteins to help maintain muscle mass, foods that have plenty of potassium, calcium, vitamin D, dietary fiber, and vitamin B12 (such as leafy greens, bananas, whole grains, and yogurt), and adding fruits and vegetables to every meal. As a general rule of thumb, the more colorful your plate, the better.
Kick the Smoking Habit
It’s never too late to quit smoking, and if you need another reason, your heart health will thank you! You can feel the benefits of quitting in as little as two months, and the decreased risk of developing heart disease will serve you well for the rest of your years.
Get Plenty of Rest
As always, sleeping well and getting enough rest throughout the day and week is an important part of whole-body health, but especially cardiac health. Not getting seven hours of sleep per night could lead to higher blood pressure, which puts unnecessary strain on your heart and puts you at higher risk for developing heart disease later in life. If you struggle to get a consistent seven hours each night, consider setting an alarm to remind you to go to bed at the same time every night. Additionally, creating a relaxing bedtime routine of things like making a hot cup of tea, washing your face with warm water, and reading before bed can help you get more consistent, too.
Focus On Your Health at Newcastle Place
Whether you’re a heart-health enthusiast or are looking for small shifts in your daily routine that can help you improve daily quality of life, a senior independent living community like Newcastle Place can help. We offer a thoughtfully designed wellness program that helps you focus on the 8 dimensions of wellbeing — physical, emotional, spiritual, vocational, environmental, social, intellectual and health services — so you can enjoy your retirement to the fullest. Ready to do your heart (and soul) some good? Schedule a tour at Newcastle Place today or contact us by filling out the form below.