Seeing changes in your heart as you get older is a normal part of life, but that doesn't mean you can't have a healthy heart as you age. Maintaining a healthy and happy heart means making better choices now, that will pay off in the long run. We've gathered some simple and easy tips that anyone at any age can benefit from adding to their lifestyle.
1. Get moving
Stand up often
It may seem simple, but for those of us who have a sedentary job, it may not be. Staying seated for a long period of time is bad for your health, no matter how much exercise you get. So be sure to get up and move around throughout the day or adopt a standing work station that you can move up and down!
Go for a walk
A short walk of just 20 minutes a day can aid in reducing your risk of heart disease. Find the little ways to increase your steps throughout the day; park a little farther from the store or walk to work or school. You could even take a stroll through town – it’s also the perfect opportunity to check out some of our small local businesses.
2. Don’t forget the basics
Use the bathroom
Okay, so this one be a little TMI, but did you know that holding a full bladder may increase your blood pressure? The extra force caused by high blood pressure can cause damage to your artery walls and create scar tissue, making it harder for your blood and oxygen to travel to and from your heart.
Brush your teeth
Yup, we’re going to very basics with this one. Good oral hygiene does more than keeping those teeth pearly white. Those who have gum disease will often have the same risk factors for heart disease. Your teeth are a good indication of your overall health, so be sure to floss and brush your teeth daily.
3. Adopt a healthier diet
Add healthier foods in your diet
Trans fat clogs your arteries, raising your bad cholesterol levels. Trans fat can often be found in packaged baked goods, snack foods, margarines, and fast food. Instead, look for food that includes saturated, polyunsaturated and unsaturated fats. That means lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts and seeds.
Enjoy that morning cup of Joe
Or tea, if that’s what you prefer. Drinking one to three cups of tea per day results in lower rates of heart attacks. And for you coffee lovers, one cup of coffee a week is also proven to lower risk of heart disease.
4. Focus on your well-being
Your overall health includes getting enough sleep, managing your stress and getting enough sleep. Make it a point to catch up with your friends and family and be sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep each day. Your mental health determines how you make choices, including what you eat or how you spend your day. People under stress may overeat, start smoking, or become depressed; all things that can increase your change of heart disease.
Want to learn more or take steps to help in the cure for heart disease and strokes? Join us and participate in Hilo’s American Heart Association Heart Walk on May 30th at 7:30 AM. For more information, visit the event page here.